Canada given only verbal reassurance from Europe on vaccine export controls: Ng

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OTTAWA — International Trade Minister Mary Ng says European leaders have given multiple promises that new export controls on COVID-19 vaccines won’t stop Canada’s vaccine shipments.

But Ng told MPs at a parliamentary committee today that those promises have not been put in writing and acknowledges the export controls are “concerning.”

All Canada’s doses of the COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are made in and shipped from Europe.

Ng says Canada has been promised multiple times, including by the president of the European Commission and the trade and health commissioners, that Canada’s vaccine shipments will continue as expected.

The European Union threw down the new policy last week, mostly amid a fight with AstraZeneca over its inability to fill Europe’s contract for its vaccine in the first three months of the year.

Europe invested more than C$4 billion to help get COVID-19 vaccines developed and mass produced and the world’s largest trading bloc says that while it is committed to global supply chains for vaccines, it is also going to ensure Europe gets what it is owed.

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