Colombia re-opening border to Canadian beef

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) is celebrating news that Colombia will open its borders to Canadian beef — the first South American market to restore access to Canadian beef since the border closed due to BSE in 2003. 

During a trade mission to Peru and Colombia federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced the  two countries had agreed on a protocol likely to see the Columbian market reopen to Candian beef and livestock this summer — a development that could yield annual exports of nearly $6 million in beef and $1 million in livestock and genetics.

CCA president Brad Wildeman said, “It’s good news for our industry knowing that Minister Ritz has placed the negotiation of foreign market access high on his list of priorities. The… negotiating efforts paid off and sends a strong message to the world that commercially-meaningful access should be restored to Canada based on OIE’s scientific guidelines.”

Now that the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) trade restrictions will be lifted Canadian beef will be positioned to capitalize on the improved market access of the new Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) when it comes into effect. 

The new agreement eliminates the 80 per cent tariff on
Canadian beef over a 12-year period, however until the tariff is completely eliminated, Colombia will immediately allow duty-free imports of up to 5,250 tonnes of Canadian beef and offals. 

With the FTA in place, Canadian beef exports to Colombia could climb to more than triple, exceeding $20 million annually.

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