Friday, May 22nd25.9°C
26383
25263

Moscow ban on food imports is short-sighted, belligerent: industry minister

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The federal industry minister says Moscow's decision to close its borders to western agricultural imports is a short-sighted move that will hurt Russia most.

"If some opportunities are going to be lost in Russia, that will be more than offset with the opportunities that will be opened up as a consequence of the Canada-Europe free trade agreement and the Canada-Korea free trade agreement," James Moore said Friday after touring a brewery in St. John's, N.L., to highlight the need to drop internal trade barriers.

"This should only embolden us as a Parliament to be more aggressive about opening more markets around the world for Canadian products to be sold elsewhere beyond Russia."

Moore was responding to Russia's announcement that it will halt food shipments from Canada, the United States and many other western countries for the next year. The blockade is in retaliation for sanctions aimed at getting Russia to stop supporting rebels in Ukraine.

Moore said it shows Russian President Vladimir Putin's attitude on foreign policy.

"Russian consumers will be hit and hurt," he said. "It's very short-sighted of Vladimir Putin but it's in keeping with his irresponsible and belligerent approach to foreign policy."

At least one group isn't so sure Russia will take the brunt of the fallout.

The Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council wants the federal government to consider special support for Canadian exporters affected by the sanctions.

Executive director Derek Lothian said Russia is a key customer and the council would like Ottawa to create an emergency fund to offer short-term relief for agricultural processors, producers and related manufacturers that will be hurt.

The federal government should also communicate closely with Canadian companies that export to Russia, he said.

Russia is strategically important as a stand-alone market and as a gateway to other countries in Eastern Europe, he explained.

Lothian warns the sanctions on food products will have a ripple effect on related industries and could result in a loss of Canadian jobs.

"We are known around the world as probably the best supplier of agricultural equipment," Lothian said. "If there is no money to purchase that equipment in foreign or domestic markets, that equals jobs and investment here at home."

Russia's sanctions are aimed at meat, milk and dairy products, fruit and vegetables and fish from Canada, the U.S., the European Union, Australia and Norway.

Canada's agricultural exports to Russia amounted to $563 million in 2012, mostly in frozen pork, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

The council represents about 40 companies in Saskatchewan.

Canadian pork producers are especially concerned because frozen pork accounts for much of the country's agri-exports to Russia.

Moore said the departments of Finance and Agriculture will do an assessment on the impact of the Russian sanctions.

"But we'll be there to support our industry," he added. "We have been in the past and certainly in the short term the best thing that we can do is if the Russian market is going to be closing for some time, then we should be that much more aggressive in opening up new markets for Canadian pork."

— With files from CKRM

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

26416


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15200.76-2.85
S&P CDNX703.48+2.97
DJIA18232.02-53.72
Nasdaq5089.36-1.43
S&P 5002126.06-4.76
CDN Dollar0.8135-0.006
Gold1205.70+1.30
Oil57.45-1.98
Lumber273.30+3.70
Natural Gas2.888-0.061

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.48+0.03
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.425+0.053
Metalex Ventures0.09+0.01
Russel Metals25.79-0.03
Copper Mountain Mining1.38-0.03
Colorado Resources0.105+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0048-0.0049
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.175-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.20+0.60

 



26341

FEATURED Property
20134751138 Gregory Road
5 bedrooms 4 baths
$1,395,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Do or do not

Photo: Thinkstock.com“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran Good planning is all about managing chan...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...


Squaring the circle

Photo: Thinkstock.comI have been reading about market segmentation and choice. Howard Moskowitz’s research into tomato sauce as retold by Malcom Gladwell on the TED talks (http://www.ted.com/tal...

_





26112


Member of BC Press Council


25895