OTTAWA -The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is deeply disappointed with the agricultural concessions included in the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
While the government did achieve beneficial results for some sectors within agriculture, such as increased U.S. market access for Canada’s sugar beet producers, initial indications suggest the livelihood of producers in Canada’s supply managed sectors will be hurt by the concessions included within this new trade deal.
Canada has ceded further access to the U.S. for a number of agriculture and agri-food products, especially with respect to supply managed sectors such as turkey, dairy, chicken and eggs. With additional access to our supply managed sectors already being given up in both CETA and CPTPP, this aggregation of incremental access has the potential to irrevocably harm farmers working under supply management.
During the negotiations, CFA continually recommended a “do no harm” approach to the agricultural terms of the agreement, advocating for regulatory modernization to help relieve logistical barriers to trade. However, issues such as meat re-inspection at the border, which creates delays, increases costs and thickens the border between the two countries’ highly integrated industries, were not addressed during these crucial talks.
However, CFA is relieved to see that Chapter 19 has been maintained, as this remains essential to all sectors that conduct international trade between the three USMCA countries.
“While negotiations always involve some give-and-take, right now it seems like the USMCA negotiations missed a key opportunity to relieve some non-tariff barriers to trade, which would have been a great help to farmers from every country involved in the deal,” says Ron Bonnett, CFA President.
“Couple that with more market access being given to the U.S. in our supply managed sectors and there aren’t many farmers under supply management who are happy right now.”
CFA will continue to analyze the text of the USMCA and will consult its members to get a deeper insight into the USMCA’s effects on Canadian agriculture.