Dear Ministers Ng and MacAulay,
The Canada Grains Council (CGC) serves as a comprehensive voice for the Canadian grain, oilseed, pulse, and special crop industries. We focus on issues of importance to the entire value chain, guided by the collective expertise of our sustaining members (the Canola Council of Canada, Cereals Canada, CropLife Canada, Pulse Canada, the Grain Growers of Canada, Soy Canada, the Western Grain Elevator Association, Flax Council of Canada, Grain Farmers of Ontario) and dozens of other affiliated organizations and corporate members. Up to 90 percent of Canadian grain is earmarked for export, making unfettered global market access a cornerstone of our sector’s financial resilience and growth.
Regrettably, Mexico’s measures concerning genetically engineered corn undermine our long history of open trade and generate market uncertainty in a key market for Canadian agriculture. On behalf of our members, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Government of Canada for deciding to participate as a third party in the CUSMA panel proceedings initiated by the United States on August 17. This step signifies Canada’s unwavering commitment to uphold science-based, rules-governed international trade and innovation in agriculture, a policy particularly important to our sector given the regulatory sensitivities it faces.
Agricultural biotechnology and other innovations have been instrumental in enhancing crop yields, reducing environmental impact, and aiding our industry in achieving its growth and sustainability goals. Mexico’s recent policy shift away from science-based decision-making endangers not just trade relationships but also access to essential innovations for meeting future growth and sustainability targets. This divergence from international standards could have wider implications in the future if other crops are impacted or other jurisdictions follow suit.
By joining the dispute, the Government of Canada is not only acting to safeguard a crucial trading relationship but also to defend the livelihoods of those throughout our value chain—including seed developers, farmers, processors, traders, and retailers. As we navigate this complex issue, our sector remains ready to support the Government of Canada with timely information and analysis, and we continue to be available to departmental staff for further discussions.
Canada Grains Council