ibusinesslines.com October 23, 2018

Dairy farmers group say they're paying the price to seal trade deal

05 October 2018, 11:53 | Kelvin Horton

Dairy farmers say new trade agreement with U.S. has ‘sold them out’

'It's like a death by a thousand cuts': Manitoba dairy farmers react to new trade agreement

Canada, Mexico and the United States recently finalized a sweeping new trade deal after several months of tense negotiations. Even after some other trade adjustments, the deal is likely to equal less than 2 percent of total USA sales, according to the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Pence said China has responded to Trump's tough trade policies against Beijing with tariffs of its own created to inflict maximum political damage.

"We have no interest in meddling in USA internal affairs and elections", Hua said.

Something in the new trade agreement that will have a big impact on dairy farmers in NY is the potential elimination of Canada's Class 7 dairy pricing program.

The newly minted U.S. -Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, or USMCA, will grant an expanded 3.6% market access to the domestic dairy market and eliminate competitive dairy classes, which will shrink the Canadian industry, according to a statement by Dairy Famers of Canada.

Ontario's cross-border trade with the USA amounts to $389 billion a year, particularly as the primary trade partner with 19 states. Washington argues the Chinese economy is too distorted by state subsidies. China's strategic tariffs have been interpreted as an effort to support congressional opposition to Trump's trade policies.

But I think now that Canada has maintained and preserved its access to the United States as well as now having better access to the Pacific because of our membership in the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and to Europe through the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement that puts Canada in, I think, a quite enviable position.

Trump said last week he didn't like Canada's trade negotiator in an apparent reference to Freeland. The United States and Mexico would face the same obligations in similar talks. The deal has to be signed by the leaders of the three countries, go through Congress as well as Legislatures in Canada and Mexico. "This outcome will do deep harm to not only our farmers, but also the 220,000 Canadians that work in the industry".

The DFC is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada's farmers. Canada has successfully preserved key elements of the original North American Free Trade Agreement while building on it to expand opportunity and improve protections for workers across North America.

"China wants a different American president", Pence said.

The Ontario government accused the Trudeau government of jeopardizing Canada's sovereignty in the proposed USMCA.

"And now we find out they've given away more of the dairy industry", he said. "We fought to be a sovereign nation, not to give our rights to the Americans".

Losing that class is another potential market cut off, he said. "Nothing in this agreement would prevent Canada from deepening its trade ties with other countries". The system also limits imports by slapping tariffs on volumes beyond a certain level.

"It's not the time to make decisions while in a state of shock", Groleau said. We always knew from the outset that we weren't going to be making spectacular gains. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will hold preliminary trade and economic talks with senior Chinese officials in Beijing in November.

Meanwhile, U.S. grain and livestock producers were happy to see they will continue to enjoy tariff-free exports of grains and meat to Mexico and Canada.

The Trudeau government has to table legislation to implement the USMCA into Canadian law - a process that won't begin until next year and could be stalled in the Senate, said Todgham Cherniak, a Conservative Party supporter, who added that the issue could also drag into next October's federal election campaign.

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