Market News & Headlines >> Canada Taking China to WTO Over Canola Ban

Canada, locked in a major dispute with China, is taking the first formal step at the World Trade Organization to challenge Beijing’s decision to block Canadian canola exports, Trade Minister Jim Carr said on Friday. 

China, angry at Canada's detention of a top Huawei Technologies Co Ltd executive last year on a U.S. arrest warrant, blocked all imports of canola seed in March on the grounds they contained pests. 

"We have continuously been engaging with China at multiple levels. The issue is that we're not seeing progress fast enough and as we would with any trading partner, this is the next step," Carr spokesman Michael Jones told Reuters News Service. 

Carr said in a statement that Ottawa was seeking bilateral consultations with China at the WTO. Under WTO rules, Canada and China should meet within 30 days, and if these talks fail, Canada can request adjudication by a panel. 

Canadian canola stockpiles surged to an all-time high this summer amid slumping sales to China. Statistics Canada on Friday pegged July 31 Canadian canola stocks at 3.9 million metric tons, up 55% from last year and toward the high end of trade estimates that averaged 3.8 million tons.