How the new USMCA deal will affect you

05 October, 2018, 08:26 | Author: Teresa Adams
  • Canadian dairy farmers’ group pans new trade pact with U.S. Mexico

"USMCA is definitely the wrong deal for Canada's dairy sector-its farmers, processors, and the thousands of hard-working Canadians they employ", says Mr. Frigon. She says this year's expo comes as dairy farmers are facing the fourth straight year of low prices.

He says the supply management system in Canada is created to keep proper levels of milk in the system without having too much or too little, something our neighbours to the south don't have in place.

"We hope the agreements with Mexico and now with Canada lead to further easing of trade restrictions".

Sixth generation dairy farmer Devan Toop of Chilliwack in the Lower Mainland said the deal will do nothing to help struggling US dairy farmers, nor will it help consumers on this side of the border with lower prices. The USMCA includes new provisions to provide science-based trading standards, timely review of products produced through biotechnology and gene editing and new provisions on geographic indications.

Both Freeland and Trudeau said it's important to remember that when the negotiations began over a year ago the USA aim was to dismantle supply management entirely, and Canada did not let that happen.

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Most critical of the deal was the dairy industry, which railed against expanded US access to the domestic dairy market and the elimination of competitive dairy classes.

Trudeau said the USMCA is successful in maintaining fairness and balance between Canada and the US, a trading partner 10 times its size. That decision followed more than a year of negotiations, and came in just a few hours before an agreed-upon midnight deadline.

On Sunday, it was announced that the parties had reached a new deal, which is now being referred to as the U.S. -Mexico-Canada Agreement - or USMCA. "The Government has conceded access to our domestic market to the USA, affecting our ability to produce Canadian milk".

"Not only should we demand the highest possible labor and environmental standards, but ensure they are fully enforceable - a standard which many of our past trade agreements have not met", said Kind, D-La Crosse.

Williams said one positive for dairy farmers with the new agreement is that it will open the Canadian market to more exported American dairy products. That was a “major point of contention” in trade talks, according to Laurie Fischer, CEO for the ADC.

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Previously, Canadians buying online from the US could only purchase up to $20-Cdn. worth before having to pay import duty.

Todd Heyn, field adviser for the New York Farm Bureau, said the deal will "absolutely" help the state's dairy industry. A similar agreement between Mexico and the USA preserves duty-free access to the US market for vehicles that comply with the agreement's rules of origin.

Canada's automakers appear to be the big winners from a renegotiated trade pact between Canada, the US and Mexico, while steel and aluminum makers and dairy producers have less to celebrate.

The United Steelworker's Canadian branch president Ken Neuman, however, called the deal a "sellout" for failing to eliminate 25 per cent steel and 10 per cent aluminum tariffs imposed in June by the Trump administration.

Green party leader Mike Schreiner lauded the new trade agreement and said it's essential to the province's economy.

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The treaty must be ratified by Congress and the legislatures of Mexico and Canada.

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