Trade mission to China needs to happen sooner rather than later, opposition MP says

Photo: Debra Murphy, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Winnipeg, Man,. on Tuesday and took questions from reporters about what’s happening with Canada’s trade relations with China. Questions centred on canola, as earlier that morning it was announced China banned Viterra from exporting canola seed due to “hazardous pests.”

Trudeau said, “We’re continuing to work very hard to try and resolve this issue … we’ve heard very clearly that there’s a significant interest in sending a high level delegation to China to talk about the extraordinary work that we do in terms of oversight, inspection and the science around ensuring the safety and quality of everything Canada exports … we’re very much looking at the possibility of sending a high level delegation to China.”

What remains to be answered by the prime minister is when and who would head to China for the trip? Conservative MP for Alberta’s Foothills riding, John Barlow joined RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney on RealAgRadio to discuss the matter.

Barlow says his top picks to go would be Ministers Freeland (foreign affairs), Carr (trade), and Bibeau (agriculture), adding that if they were to allow to send a Conservative Party member and perhaps someone from the NDP, that could make the contingent even stronger and that way they could tackle the issue as “Team Canada.”

“It’s frustrating that the prime minister is (only) strongly considering sending a delegation, I don’t think they quite understand the urgency of this situation,” he says. “This is something that should have been strongly and seriously considered a long time ago.”

Haney agreed with Barlow adding that Trudeau’s choice of words with using “possible” was weak.

Aside from a trade mission, Barlow says something must be done now and Liberals need to make the situation a priority.

“This isn’t a situation that’s going to be facing Canadian producers at harvest — this is a situation they’re (farmers) facing now,” Barlow says.

Listen below to the full interview between RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney and Conservative MP John Barlow on who he thinks should go to China, and why the Liberal government needs to act now.


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