While China’s trade war with the United States is expected to come to an end soon, the country has quietly opened up diplomatic tensions with another North American nation by blocking much of its farm exports to the country. Canada is one of the biggest exporters of farm-grown products to China and in a recent development; the exports of products like soya and peas among others have hit a wall as the Chinese authorities have effectively blocked it.
For instance, canola is one of Canada’s biggest farm based exports to China, but much of those exports have been blocked. Viterra and Richardson International are two of the largest exporters of canola, but their exports were blocked recently after the Chinese authorities claimed that the products had pests in them. Canola exports from other Canadian companies have also been blocked, and most of those firms have had to sell their produce at knockdown prices elsewhere. Exporters of soya and peas have faced the same problems with regards to their shipments to China.
In this regard, it needs to be pointed out that the troubles between Canada and China are far more complex than it appears. The whole thing could be linked to the whole Huawei episode in which Canadian authorities arrested one of the company’s top executives due to American pressure, and these steps could be in retaliation to that. On top of that, two Canadian nationals had also been detained by the Chinese authorities after arrest of the Huawei executive in question. DG Global is one of the bigger exporters to China and the company’s president Dwight Gerling was quite forthright in his assessment of the situation. He pretty much called it a case of Chinese bullying. Gerling said,
“They’re basically sending out the signal, ‘You buy from Canada, we’re going to make your life difficult. It’s just them playing games. (Beijing) is just going to keep putting the screws to us.”
The situation is precarious for many farm exporters in Canada, and in a statement, the ministry in charge of agricultural affairs in the country stated that a delegation is going to visit China in order to have a discussion regarding the matter. Due to the current problems with China, many of the farms in Canada have now started working on other crops in order to ensure that they do not end up making more losses.