China's Ban on Canadian Canola: Reasons, Impacts, and Policy Perspectives

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  • Three months after Huawei CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver in December 2018, China decided to stop purchasing canola from two major Canadian canola exporters -- Richardson and Viterra. Most mainstream media sources identify the canola embargo as a political issue, whereby Beijing is trying to put pressure on Ottawa by targeting trade. The actual reasons behind the canola dispute are, however, rather complex and closely related to several fundamental changes in China’s economy and politics, including agricultural policy, domestic demand for imported rapeseeds, the development of China’s own rapeseed industry, as well as China’s political considerations in international relations. Other reasons, such as increasing concerns of GMO contained in Canadian canola from Chinese consumers and the African swine fever that have wiped out almost half of China’s pig herd in 2019, also play a role in the dwindling interest in Canadian canola in the Chinese market.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International