Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Marit not worried about latest Canada-China spat

Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit is not worried about the current tensions between Canada and China.

The latest spat saw Canada expel a Chinese diplomat over allegations of foreign interference, and China responded by expelling a Canadian diplomat.

Beijing previously banned imports of canola from Richardson Pioneer International and Viterra, following the arrest of Huawei’s CFO. The 3-year ban was lifted last year.

The Chinese government also imposed restrictions on Canadian beef after a case of atypical BSE was found in an Alberta cow back in 2021.

China is Canada’s second-largest trading partner, behind the U.S., and is also a major importer of Canadian potash and wheat.

When asked if he is concerned about possible retaliation by China by banning other Canadian exports, Marit said on Thursday he isn’t concerned because we’ve diversified our exports to other markets.

“China is a market for us as well,” Marit noted. “But there are so many global players now for our product, I mean you just look at what’s happened in Mexico alone we’ve gone to well over a billion dollars in exports into Mexico, where 3 or 4 years ago we were like 5 or $600-million, so we’re seeing that market grow.

“The U.S. market is growing again…Indonesia is growing for us, United (Arab) Emirates is becoming a big player as well, so there’s so many factors now and so many players in the world that we’ll adjust to all of that.

“I hope they won’t, they got to feed their folks as well so hopefully we’ll get through all that.”

Marit also said with the latest trade office established in Berlin, Germany, the province has the world covered for trading. Saskatchewan has other trade offices in Mexico, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, India, Singapore, Vietnam, China, and Japan.

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