Meat

China suspends Canadian meat imports amid Huawei dispute

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China is suspending all meat imports from Canada among their dispute over the Canadian detention of a superior executive at the Chinese tech company Huawei. 

The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa said in a statement on its website Tuesday that the procedure follows Chinese customs inspectors’ detection of residue from a restricted feed additive, called ractopamine, in a batch of Canadian pork products. It is allowed in Canada but banned in China. 

“China has taken urgent preventive measures and requested the Canadian government to suspend the issuance of certificates for meat exported to China,” the statement said. 

Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei CFO and daughter of the company’s founder, was caught Dec. 1 in Canada at the request of US authorities, who like to try her on fraud charges. 

China then detained 2 Canadians and sentenced another to death in an apparent try to pressure for her release. 

The recent action against Canada comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads to Japan for the G-20 summit. US President Donald Trump seems to meet with his Chinese counterpart amid trade talks. 

Meng’s arrest set off a diplomatic furor among the 3 countries, complicating high-stakes US-China trade talks and seriously damaging Beijing’s relations with Ottawa. Canada wants Trump to discuss on behalf of Canada to Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese have was unable to talk to senior Canadian government officials, including Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. Trudeau had hoped to meet with Xi at the G-20 but that appears unlikely. 

Before working against Canadian meat, China previously stopped importing certain Canadian products like canola. 

Justine Lesage, a spokeswoman for Canada’s agriculture minister, said in a statement that the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency found a problem involving inauthentic export certificates that could impact the export of pork and beef products to China. 

She said the agency has “taken measures to address this issue and is continuing to work closely with industry partners and Chinese officials.” 

“The Canadian food system is one of the best in the world and we are confident in the safety of Canadian products and Canadian exports,” she said.

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