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Canada still seeks reversal on seal ban

ChronicleHerald, Halifax, Canada

Canada still seeks reversal on seal ban

9 June 2011

Canadian Press/Ottawa — The Canadian government will not withdraw a challenge at the World Trade Organization despite a call from the European Union to abandon the fight over a ban on seal products, an official said Wednesday.

A spokesman for Trade Minister Ed Fast said Canada will pursue its bid to overturn a European Union ban on the importation of seal products.

Adam Taylor made the comments after the European Parliament issued a resolution Wednesday suggesting the challenge be abandoned before the parliament votes on ratifying a trade agreement with Canada.

"These are completely separate issues and we’re moving ahead with our WTO challange," he said. "The trade negotiation with the EU is one issue and our settlement process at the WTO with respect to seal products is a completely separate issue."

A statement on the European Parliament’s website said that while members praised progress in the talks, they raised concerns about seal products, the Alberta tar sands and intellectual property rights.

It suggested that talks could stall or be derailed if the issues can’t be resolved.

"(Members) voiced their strong hope that Canada would withdraw its WTO challenge before the European Parliament has to vote on ratifying the (trade agreement)," the release stated.