The federal government moved to extend financial help to canola growers affected by increasing trade tensions between Canada and China after the arrest of a Huawei Technologies Co. executive.
China has since suspended the licenses of two Canadian companies to export their canola seed to China, citing non-compliance with their plant health requirements. At the same time, China strengthened its inspection measures on all Canadian canola seed shipments.
To help mitigate the financial impact of China’s actions, Ottawa intends to amend the Agricultural Marketing Programs Regulations to temporarily increase loan limits under the Advance Payments Program (APP). According to the government’s news release, these changes will help ease cash flow pressures that farmers are facing and help them manage the impacts of market disruptions in key export countries.
The regulatory amendment would change the loan limits for the APP for the 2019 year as follows:
Advances of up to $1 million will be available on all commodities, more than double the previous limit of $400,000. The first $100,000 will remain interest-free on all commodities, except canola. Canola advances will be eligible for up to $500,000 (total) interest-free.
As part of the Government of Canada’s trade diversification strategy, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie Claude Bibeau also announced that she would be heading to Japan this month to participate in the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting. While in Japan, she will meet with Japanese industry leaders and officials from several countries to advance Canada’s agricultural trade.
Minister of International Trade Diversification Jim Carr announced that he would be leading a canola trade mission to Japan and South Korea in early June. Minister Carr’s outreach will build on his work to engage other high-potential countries including UAE, Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mexico, Germany, and France.