Daily Management Review

Import Of Canadian Beef & Pork Suspended By China, Tensions Rise


Import Of Canadian Beef & Pork Suspended By China, Tensions Rise
Diplomatic tensions between China and Canada just went up a notch after the announcement of a suspension on the import of beef and pork form Canada was made by China. This latest ban on Canadian import was taken after the discovery by the Chinese authorities of a feed additive that is banned – in a batch of pork products that had been imported exported to the country from Canada.
Chinese authorities also discovered evidence of forging of up to 188 health certificates that had been sent along with the port exports to China from Canada.
Canada was also urged by China to immediately implement "effective measures" to make sure that the food exported into China was absolutely safe.
A statement from the Chinese embassy in Ottawa said that China had "immediately suspended the import of pork products from the relevant enterprises" after discovering "ractopamine residues" in a batch of goods exported to China sent from Canada.
"In order to protect the safety of Chinese consumers, China has taken urgent preventive measures and requested the Canadian government to suspend the issuance of certificates for meat exported to China since 25 June," the statement said.
"We hope the Canadian side would attach great importance to this incident... and take effective measures to ensure the safety of food exported to China in a more responsible manner."
A probe has been initiated by Canadian authorities to investigate whether the pork consignment that was exported to China along with the forged health certificates had actually been produced and shipped by Canadian producers.
"They're inauthentic certificates that are at play here and we're taking it very seriously," Canada's international trade minister Jim Carr said on Wednesday. "Somebody is trying to use the Canadian brand to move product into the Chinese market."
According to trade statistics, between January and April 2019, C$63m ($48m; £38m) worth of Canadian beef and veal and C$310m worth of pork was bought by China. This Asian country and the second largest economy of the world is also the third-largest export market for Canadian pork.
Imports of Canadian canola seed was also blocked by China earlier this year because of concerns over quality. Those concerns by Canada were however challenged by Canada's food inspection agency.
The relations between Canada and China have been strained ever since the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the behest of the United States. This move of suspension of Canadian pork and beef imports had apparently added on to the existing tensions between the two countries. Meng is the daughter of the Chief financial officer of Huawei as well as the daughter of the company’s founder.
US alleged that Meng had violated US sanctions on Iran. She is awaiting extradition to the US. Following that incident, China detained two Canadian nationals in Beijing as a mark of retaliation of the arrest of Meng in Canada.
A civil claim against Canada's government, border agency and police has in the meanwhile been filed by Meng wherein she has alleged of "serious breaches" of her civil rights.