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Canada still pursuing WTO dispute panel on canola, after China blocks initial request

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The Canadian authorities is planning to file one other request for the World Commerce Group to determine a dispute settlement panel to have a look at China’s restrictions on Canadian canola seed imports.

China blocked Canada’s initial attraction for a dispute panel on the WTO Dispute Settlement Physique’s month-to-month assembly on Monday (June 28).

The dispute dates again to March 2019, when China delivered a serious blow to the Canadian canola trade by suspending canola seed imports from Richardson Worldwide and Viterra. China additionally carried out enhanced inspections for canola shipments from different Canadian corporations — all whereas claiming unproven considerations concerning the presence of “hazardous pests” in Canadian canola.

Along with bilateral efforts involving political leaders and customs authorities at varied ranges, the Canadian authorities requested consultations with China by way of the WTO in September 2019. After these consultations failed, Canada filed its request for the creation of a WTO dispute settlement panel to look at the problem, which was lastly heard by the Dispute Settlement Physique this week.

The next paragraph is how the WTO Secretariat’s Data and Exterior Relations Division summarized China’s place on the assembly on Monday:

China stated it regrets Canada’s request and stated it was not able to simply accept the institution of a panel.  The measures had been imposed to the extent obligatory to guard human, animal or flowers or well being and in a clear and non-discriminatory method, China stated. China has stored in shut contact with related Canadian authorities on the matter and has responded to requests for info each throughout and after the consultations. China stated it believes it’s untimely to determine a panel for this dispute and that it’s keen to proceed engagement with Canada on the matter.

Because of this, the Dispute Settlement Physique determined to “revert to the matter at a future meeting if requested by a member.”

Nevertheless, WTO guidelines say member nations can’t block a second request for a dispute panel. Canada might make its second request at a gathering scheduled for July 26, 2021.

“Canada is confident that our canola seed exports meet China’s import requirements and we are committed to regaining full market access for our canola seed exports to China,” says Alice Hansen, spokesperson for Canada’s commerce minister, Mary Ng, in an announcement shared with RealAgriculture. “Due to the continued lack of progress in restoring full market access for canola seed exports, Canada has decided to proceed with the next step of the WTO dispute settlement process and has requested the establishment of a panel.”

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