Canada To Restart Meat Exports To China

Canadian exports of beef and pork to China are set to resume after months of diplomatic wrangling over trade between the two countries.

On Twitter, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated: "Good news for Canadian farmers. Thanks to Ambassador [Dominic] Barton and the Canadian meat industry for their work on re-opening this important market for our meat producers and their families."

China is one of Canada's biggest export markets for beef and pork, but the Asian nation of 1.3 billion people halted Canadian shipments of meat this past June after Chinese customs authorities reportedly discovered residue of the banned additive “Ractopamine” in a batch of pork. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) later confirmed that the shipment's export certificate was forged.

The trade dispute erupted as diplomatic tensions between Canada and China were ramping up following the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver last December on a U.S. warrant. Within days, China detained two Canadians – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – both of whom remain in Chinese custody.

But now, it looks like there has been movement on the trade front. Officials in Ottawa received a letter from China saying that they will again accept Canadian imports of beef and pork. Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau put out a statement saying Canada’s federal government has been working with the CFIA and the embassy in Beijing to engage with China over the past few months on the thorny trade issue.

"We will continue to work closely with beef and pork producers and processors in the coming days and weeks to ensure successful resumption of trade," reads the statement.