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Canada extends Ukraine tariff-free order, tightens access to sheltered farm sectors

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By Rod Nickel and Steve Scherer

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) – Canada on Friday extended Ukraine’s tariff-free access for most goods, but tightened access for eggs, poultry and dairy, sectors that are protected under a supply-management system.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said tariff relief for Ukrainian goods – a temporary measure started a year ago – would continue for another year to help support Kyiv as it defends itself against Russia. That measure applied to goods not already covered by the countries’ free trade agreement.

The additional trade access was due to expire on Friday and the government’s decision on whether to extend it further was a test of Canada’s staunch backing of Ukraine.

Canadian poultry and egg farmers and processors had complained that Ukraine’s access made it harder to control imports and also raised concerns about the safety of Ukrainian food due to infrastructure damage.

Before the full-scale war, Ukraine was the sixth-largest chicken meat exporter, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Canadian farmers produce eggs, poultry and dairy under a system that limits production and exposes them to only minimal import competition under quotas. Freeland said that Canada would allow Ukraine to continue shipping those products tariff-free within World Trade Organization quotas, but would reimpose duties on shipments above those quotas.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Steve Scherer in Ottawa; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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