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Canada’s Dairy industry concerned over NAFTA agreement after new comments were made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
June 7, 2018

Canada’s dairy industry says it’s worried a new NAFTA deal could include market access concessions in light of new comments about the file from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Sunday.

In an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, Trudeau was asked whether Canada was willing to give the United States access to its agricultural markets, including this country’s supply-managed dairy industry.

“We’re moving towards, you know, flexibility in those areas that I thought was very, very promising,” the prime minister replied. “But the United States want a sunset clause in NAFTA, which makes no sense. You don’t sign a trade deal that automatically expires every five years.”

That response has Canadian dairy farmers worried a new NAFTA could include a concession on dairy access.

“These comments are deeply troubling for our dairy farmers, as you and your government’s representatives have repeatedly stated that you support the supply management system and our sector,” Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, wrote in a letter the the prime minister Monday.

“The Government cannot say that they support our system and in the same breath, conclude agreements that would negatively impact the dairy farming community and the 250,000 Canadians that depend on the sector for their livelihood.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly targeted Canada’s dairy system, insisting a modernized NAFTA agreement must include better access for U.S. dairy products.

American negotiators tabled a proposal during the fourth round of NAFTA discussions in Washington that demanded Canada eliminate its entire supply management system for dairy, eggs and poultry within a decade and alter its milk classification system.

Canadian negotiators have rejected that demand outright, with Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay — a retired dairy farmer himself — calling the request a “non-starter.”

Trudeau has repeatedly defended the supply management system, saying the United States has a large dairy surplus with Canada.

 

Source: iPolitics



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