REGINA — Saskatchewan’s premier says Ottawa needs to treat Chinese imports with the same scrutiny China is showing Canada’s canola shipments.
Scott Moe says tensions are high as farmers are ready to start putting seed in the ground and more action is needed from the federal government.
“We’ve had a long and healthy trade relationship with China that at the moment isn’t working to our benefit,” he said Monday
“We need to be reciprocal in ensuring that the products that are arriving here from China are receiving exactly reciprocal treatment as our products that are going into China,” he said.
Moe said he will be speaking to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the issue on Tuesday.
He has already asked the federal government to boost the amount of money that is available to canola farmers through a cash advance program and says supports to farmers are cost-shared between both levels of government.
“What is our federal government doing now that is accomplishing that much on this file?” said Moe.
“It’s time for all of us to have a serious discussion about how we are able to capture … a very valuable trading partner’s attention.”
International Trade Minister Jim Carr said Monday that Canada is searching for new Asian customers to take its canola shipments.
Moe said he supports efforts to diversify its market for exports.
China has blocked Canadian canola shipments in the last few months and has suspended the licences of two major Canadian exporters.
China’s decision to cut off Canadian shipments is widely viewed as an attempt to apply economic pressure on Canada following the December arrest of senior Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver at the request of the United States.