WHEREAS Canadas major beef trade export markets have closed their borders to Canadian beef because of a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE);AND WHEREAS closure of these international markets has resulted in a severe oversupply of beef in Canada, crippling the industry;AND WHEREAS Canadas agreement on international trade through the World Trade Organization sets a tariff rate quota (TRQ) of 76,409 tonnes for beef imported from non-NAFTA countries tariff-free;AND WHEREAS the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade can issue supplementary TRQs which allow imports of beef from non-NAFTA countries tariff free even after TRQ limits have been reached;AND WHEREAS during this crisis, the minister continues to issue supplementary TRQs further increasing the burden on the Canadian beef industry;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Canada to permanently discontinue the issuance of supplementary tariff rate quotas (TRQs).
Since a single case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease, was reported on May 20, 2003, Canadas major beef trade export markets closed their borders to Canadian beef. This has resulted in a huge surplus of beef in the Canadian market and devastation to the industry.Under international trade agreements through the World Trade Organization, Canada has a commitment that will allow the importation of up to 76,409 tonnes of beef tariff-free from non-NAFTA countries. This tariff rate quota, or TRQ, is administered through the federal governments Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.Canadian companies can continue to import beef from these countries once the total imported from these countries reaches 76,409 tonnes, if they pay a tariff of 26.5%. The Minister of International Trade, however, may issue supplementary TRQ permits. If the minister issues supplementary permits, the importer may import beef from these countries tariff-free even though our commitment to the international community of 76,409 tonnes tariff-free has been met.Although certain conditions must be met prior to a supplementary permit being issued, we believe that, during this crisis, supplementary permits should not be issued and those issued after May 20, 2003 should be suspended to provide some relief to our industry. Furthermore, for the long-term prosperity of our industry, we believe that supplementary permits should never be issued.Unfortunately, these supplementary permits continue to be issued even as our producers cannot market their beef. This adds to the already drastic situation and must stop. We ask for your support of our resolution and thank you for your consideration.
The AAMDC does not currently have any resolutions dealing with this issue.On June 4, 2003, the Hon. Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of International Trade, announced that Canadian companies wishing to apply for supplementary imports of non-NAFTA beef and veal would be required to first offer the opportunity to supply their needs to at least five Canadian suppliers. The current policy required companies to check with two domestic suppliers.On July 18, 2003, Minister Pettigrew announced that all applications received after July 9, 2003 for imports of non-NAFTA beef and veal above amounts already agreed to under WTO rules (called supplemental imports) would normally be refused. The federal government ordered a government-industry committee to review the current policy on supplemental beef imports and report to the Minister for International Trade and the Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food by August 8, 2003. According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the policy announced on July 9, 2003 is still in effect.