Trade deal gets mixed reviews
Grain Farmers of Ontario, the province’s largest commodity organization, has congratulated the Canadian government for having negotiated the United StatesMexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“This agreement ensures that the existing strong trade relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico will continue. This relationship is vital to the prosperity of the Ontario grain industry and the USMCA will provide stability that will benefit grain farmers across Ontario,” said Markus Haerle, Chair, Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Unimpeded access to world markets is increasingly important to Ontario grain producers, Mr. Haerle noted. “USMCA allows farmers and the agriculture industry to continue these strong relationships without any new issues or any new disruptions.”
Dairy Farmers of Ontario representatives expressed disappointment in the USMCA and significant concerns with the outcomes of the negotiations. DFO is also looking to government officials to honour their commitment to support supply management.
DFO is working with provincial marketing boards, DFC and processors to strategize ways to hold the government accountable to its commitment to support the industry. DFO is expressing serious concerns, and is looking for ways to work together to be able to continue to grow the dairy industry.
Since the agreement has granted additional access to the Canadian egg market, “The outcome of the negotiations will have a negative impact on the system of supply management as a whole and specifically on the vitality of Canada’s egg farming sector,” said Roger Pelissero, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. “It represents a hit to consumers who overwhelmingly prefer Canadian eggs, with nearly 90% agreeing it’s important that the eggs they purchase are produced in Canada.”
The egg group says, “We are always worried about the impact resulting from increased access on the sustainability of Canadian egg, poultry and dairy industries and are especially concerned about what appears to be yet another devastating impact on our fellow dairy farmers. While we are still assessing the full impact of the USMCA agreement, the outcome means more foreign eggs on grocery store shelves. These latest concessions along with the concessions made earlier this year at the conclusion of the CPTPP will result in a loss of farm family income, and will affect the health and continued viability of rural communities across Canada. These concessions offer very little value to Canadian consumers who have said time and time again that they want Canadian eggs. Yet the very farm families who make sure high-quality, locally produced eggs end up on our tables will see their livelihoods weakened.”