Canadian dairy farmers pan USMCA pact

Monday October 01, 2018
Written by The Canadian Press/Manufacturing AUTOMATION
October 1, 2018 - Canadian dairy farmers have panned the renegotiated trade pact between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, saying the new deal will undercut the industry by limiting exports and opening up the market to more American products.

Dairy Farmers of Canada issued a terse statement almost immediately after the 11th-hour agreement was announced late Sunday, following 14 months of difficult negotiations between the parties.

The organization said the newly minted U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement, or USMCA, will grant an expanded 3.6 per cent market access to the domestic dairy market and eliminate competitive dairy classes, which the group says will shrink the Canadian industry.

It said the measures will have "a dramatic impact not only for dairy farmers but for the whole sector."

"This has happened, despite assurances that our government would not sign a bad deal for Canadians," Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers Canada, said in the statement. "We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood."

U.S. administration officials said the deal provides increased access to Canada's dairy market for U.S. producers and limits the American impact of Canada's controversial supply management system for dairy and poultry products.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford released a statement that he is cautiously optimistic about the deal, but shares Lampron's concerns about the impacts of the dairy concessions. "While I'm optimistic that the USMCA agreement announced today will create continued opportunities, I remain concerned about the impact of Canada's reported concessions on Class 7 milk and access to Ontario's dairy market could have on our agriculture sector. We also remain concerned about the remaining steel and aluminum tariffs. Our government will be speaking directly with industry representatives from Ontario's steel, aluminum, auto and agriculture sectors to determine the impacts of this deal."

News from © The Canadian Press Enterprises 2018

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