Ottawa—Rules-based international trade was in trouble before COVID-19 lead to national policies and subsidies that amplified the chaos, says the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute (CAPI).
To cope with the situation, Canada needs to build up its sustainability credentials and find like-minded countries to work with to re-establish international trade rules, CAPI says in a report.
It should also support farmers with incentives or mechanisms based on the value they deliver in terms of environmental protection rather than just providing bigger subsidies.
Other key steps it recommends include:
-replacing the faltering multilateral rules-based trading system with “new, concrete approaches toward renewing the trading system while addressing challenges arising from the current chaotic environment”;
–leveraging existing and negotiating new plurilateral trade deals, such as Pacific and European agreements, to expand agrifood trade;
–negotiating sectoral trade agreements or arrangements that promote rules-based trade around specific sectors, products or services;
–using Canada’s comparative advantage in the sustainable use of natural capital and its net export position as leverage in negotiation of new approaches that take into environmental protection performance;
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