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China Lifts Three-Year Ban on Canola Imports From Richardson and Viterra

It was March 2019 when China implemented a ban on all canola seed imports from two of Canada’s largest exporters: Richardson International and Viterra, claiming the presence of pests. However, it was also suspected at the time that the bans were enacted in retaliation to the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, an executive with Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in December 2018.

Following claims that talks with China failed to come to an agreement between the two countries on the matter, the Canadian government brought a dispute of the ban before the World Trade Organization (WTO), which moved to establish a settlement panel in July 2021.

In a positive step forward, both companies are now listed as approved for exporting canola to China in a government document published on the Chinese Generation Administration of Customs’ website on May 18, 2022.

The Canola Council of Canada stated that canola exports to China fell from a value of $2.8 billion in 2018, to $1.4 billion in 2020. And over the course of the past two years, Canada has worked to expand its domestic processing capacity, which could make it difficult for the country’s exports to China to reach pre-ban levels.

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