Edit: a previous version of this article misattributed a statement to the Canadian Press. This has been fixed.

Trade tensions are looking to continue between Canada and China, as our nation’s second-largest trade partner has decided to suspend all Canadian meat exports.

Trade tensions are looking to continue between Canada and China, as our nation’s second-largest trade partner has decided to suspend all Canadian meat exports.

No expert sleuth is required to find identify the key reasons behind the newest trade dispute. The Chinese government cited the use of counterfeit veterinary-health certificates for meat that contained a banned food additive.

The Chinese embassy said in a statement to CBC that “the subsequent investigation revealed that the official veterinary health certificates attached to the batch of pork exported to China were counterfeit and the number of those forgery certificates was up to 188. The Canadian side believes that this incident is criminal offence,”

“These forged certificates were sent to the Chinese regulatory authorities through Canadian official certificate notification channel, which reflects that the Canadian meat export supervision system exists obvious safety loopholes.” according to the embassy statement.

Canadian cattle producers remain hopeful that the problem resolves itself quickly, but others remain concerned. The halt in Canadian cattle imports is yet another hit to the relationship between Canada and China, as a number of issues have popped up since Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested at a Vancouver-area airport in December of 2018.

China has not beaten around the bush when it comes to their intentions, either. Geng Shuang, the foreign ministry spokesman, has stated that their position on the Wanzhou situation “is very clear,” adding that Canada was asked to “immediately release Ms. Meng Wanzhou and allow her to return to China safely.”

When asked about the newest debacle surrounding cattle imports, Shuang said “relevant Chinese authorities act in accordance with laws and regulations. We hope the Canadian side attaches great importance to the fake certificate case, completes the investigation as soon as possible and takes effective rectification measures to ensure the safety of food exported to China.”

The Chinese halting of imports could spell more trouble for Canada. Ever since the arrest of Wanzhou, Canada has been forced to endure blocked imports of canola, pork bans from two different producers this April, as well as a third earlier on in June.

Despite this, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in a statement that the banned food additive was identified due to a “technical issue,” and that the agency was working with the industry partners and Chinese officials.

A Chinese diplomat released a quote to the Journal de Quebec stating that the ban would be temporary. So although “steaks” are high, those most familiar with the issue except for this blow to be a temporary one.