NEW DELHI: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s support for farmers protesting in India has been contradicted by their country’s stance on issues relating to farmers’ welfare over the years.
On Monday, Trudeau expressed concern over the peasant protests provoking a strong reaction from India, which called his statements “undesirable and unnecessary”.
Addressing the Indian community of Canada on his 551st birthday, Trudeau said, “Let me remind you, Canada is always there to defend the right to peaceful protest.
However, a quick look at Canada’s stance on India’s agricultural subsidies, a measure used to help distressed farmers, reveals that Trudeau’s concerns about protesting farmers are hollow.
Canada has repeatedly questioned India’s agricultural subsidy at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings.
When India invokes the WTO’s “peace clause” to help its paddy farmers in the 2018-19 market year, Canada is one of the most vocal countries in question.
The peace clause protects the developing country’s food purchasing programs against action by WTO members in violation of subsidized ills.
Many countries oppose violations at the subsidy level because they think it distorts global trade.
In fact, Canada is at the forefront of WTO negotiations to end agricultural subsidies.
At a recent meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agriculture Committee (COA), Canada, the USA and the European Union challenged India’s agribusiness practices and farmer-friendly policies.
It is ironic that the country’s leader, who opposes the peasant-friendly policies pursued by India, backs the peasant protest.
Clearly, Trudeau’s attempt to engage in India’s internal affairs has been more guided by a desire to appease a group of substantial populations in Canada than any genuine concern for farmers.

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