July 23, 2015 – The canola industry welcomed this week’s announcement of a modernized Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) that will mean an immediate 40% reduction of tariffs on Canadian canola oil. Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the announcement Tuesday that the negotiations toward the expanded and modernized CIFTA have concluded, expanding market access opportunities for agricultural exports.
“Reducing Israeli tariffs on Canadian canola oil from 7% down to 4.2% gets us on par with vegetable oil from the U.S. and the EU,” says Patti Miller, president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC). “We support the government’s continued investment in improving market access, and look forward to the benefits from being on a level playing field in this market.”
The CIFTA came into force in 1997. In 2014, Canadian exports of agricultural, agri-food and fish/seafood products to Israel were valued at $54 million. As a result of the modernized CIFTA, close to 100% of current Canadian agricultural, agri-food and fish/seafood exports to Israel will benefit from some form of preferential tariff treatment (i.e., duty-free, tariff rate quote or tariff rate reduction), and at least 90% of those exports will be duty free.
“Canadian canola oil exports to Israel have not been significant in the past, however, with the modernized agreement, there is now some potential for growth,” says Miller, noting that Israel imported about 118 thousand tonnes of vegetable oil in 2014.
The CCC is a full value chain organization representing canola growers, processors, life science companies and exporters. Keep it Coming 2025 is the strategic plan to ensure the canola industry’s continued growth, demand, stability and success – achieving 52 bushels per acre to meet global market demand of 26 million metric tonnes by the year 2025.
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Brian Innes, VP Government Relations