China lifts import ban on Canadian pork and beef

China last week announced $50 billion worth of tariffs on American products including soybeans and pork in retaliation for President T

China has agreed to resume imports of Canadian beef and pork, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday, signalling a breakthrough in their tense relations.

China, one of Canada's biggest export markets for beef and pork, halted Canadian shipments in June after Chinese customs authorities reported discovering residue of the banned additive ractopamine in a batch of pork products.

Trudeau thanked Canada's Ambassador to China, Dominic Barton, and the Canadian meat industry for their work.

But the ban remained in place and has been costing Canadian agricultural producers, who export roughly 20 per cent of their pork to China, making it the second-largest market for Canadian pork products.

"China is a key trading partner for Canada and our Canadian meat products had made significant gains in China over recent years due to the ongoing marketing efforts of our member companies and market promotion associations".


In September it said that the suspension had cost Canadian producers $100m in lost revenue. A subsequent investigation found forged veterinary health certificates attached to the shipment, which led to an RCMP investigation.

"Our long-standing trade relationship with China is very important to both sides and this represents an important step for both countries", Chris White, president of the Canadian Meat Council, said Tuesday in a statement.

Although no official link was made, the pork ban was seen as an escalation in response to Canada's arrest in December of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou on a USA extradition request related to alleged Iran sanctions violations. Her extradition trial begins in January.

In what was widely viewed as retaliation for the Huawei situation, China put the ban in place in June, citing concerns about contamination.

In the days that followed, China detained two Canadians - Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor - on espionage allegations.

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