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Pushing trade with Morocco

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Moroccan pulse importers and Canadian pulse exporters are working to remove high tariffs that are restricting pulse trade.

“Moroccan pulse importers and Canadian pulse exporters have a common view on the value of improved market access for pulse trade between Canada and Morocco,” said Gordon Bacon, CEO of Pulse Canada in a release.

“We need to encourage governments to conclude negotiations and implement a trade agreement,” said Ghalab Benchaib of AIMEXICLE, Morocco’s national association of importers of cereals, pulses and spices.

Morocco is one of Canada’s top five markets for small green lentils and a major market for Canadian durum. On average, Canada exports approximately 23,000 tonnes of pulses to Morocco annually.

Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Gerry Ritz, and Canada’s chief negotiator for the Moroccan trade agreement attended a meeting of Canadian exporters and Moroccan importers in late April while Ritz was in the country for meetings promoting the Canada-Morocco trade initiative.

Morocco’s pulse imports are currently governed by a range of policies and import tariffs for pulses from different origins. While some countries have tariff-free access, Canadian peas, lentils and beans face a 50 per cent tariff. In 2011, Canada’s export of lentils to Morocco was only 22.5 per cent of the previous five-year average. With the current price of small green lentils delivered to Morocco valued at approximately $1,000 per tonne, an additional $500 in tariffs is added to the price.

Free trade negotiations between Morocco and Canada were launched in January 2011.

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