Ce­re­als Canada, Grain Grow­ers of Canada wel­come the tri­lat­eral trade agree­ment

Prairie Post (East Edition) - - Prairies -

Ce­re­als Canada wel­comes the an­nounce­ment of a mod­ern­ized North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment, which will be known as the U.S.-Mex­ico- Canada Agree­ment (USMCA).

“Achiev­ing the agree­ment will en­sure on­go­ing sta­bil­ity in agri­cul­tural trade within North Amer­ica,” stated Cam Dahl, Pres­i­dent of Ce­re­als Canada. “Agri­cul­ture in all three coun­tries has ben­e­fited from freer trade. Pre­serv­ing these ben­e­fits was a key ob­jec­tive in these ne­go­ti­a­tions”.

USMCA will also mod­ern­ize the agree­ment in crit­i­cal ar­eas, in­clud­ing chap­ters on biotech­nol­ogy and new plant breed­ing tech­niques and ad­dress­ing is­sues of low level pres­ence. These up­dates will help bring the agree­ment upto-date with mod­ern tech­nol­ogy.

“USMCA also sets the stage for equal treat­ment by the Cana­dian grad­ing sys­tem for farm­ers on both sides of the Canada / U.S. bor­der”, noted Dahl. “Again, this is a mod­ern­iza­tion that ad­dresses is­sues that did not ex­ist when the orig­i­nal NAFTA was drafted. The Cana­dian value chain sup­ports these changes.” Dahl fur­ther noted that “there was some con­cern that the ad­just­ments to the grad­ing sys­tem would un­der­mine Canada’s clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem for wheat. This is not the case as the agree­ment con­tin­ues to al­low both coun­tries the abil­ity to de­velop na­tional pol­icy.”

Grain farm­ers from across Canada ap­plauded the an­nounce­ment that Canada, the US and Mex­ico had reached an agree­ment on a new North Amer­i­can trade agree­ment. The USMCA is a sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ment that will sup­port the in­te­grated grain sup­ply chains that ex­ist and will en­cour­age eco­nomic growth across ru­ral Canada.

“This is a his­toric agree­ment that serves the in­ter­ests of grain farm­ers from coast to coast,” said Jeff Nielsen, Pres­i­dent of Grain Grow­ers of Canada (GGC).

The USMCA makes im­por­tant in­cre­men­tal progress on key is­sues for grain farm­ers, in­clud­ing new text on biotech­nol­ogy and low-level pres­ence. In ad­di­tion, it will re­move le­gal bar­ri­ers that pre­vent grain grown on both sides of the bor­der from be­ing treated equally, a long­stand­ing re­quest from GGC.

“The United States and Mex­ico are ma­jor mar­kets for most Cana­dian grains and oilseeds, in­clud­ing corn from On­tario, oats from Man­i­toba, and malt bar­ley from Al­berta,” said Markus Haerle, GGC Vice-Pres­i­dent. “The cer­tainty that the USMCA brings will sup­port Cana­dian farm­ers who rely on ac­cess to the in­te­grated North Amer­i­can mar­ket to suc­ceed.”

GGC looks for­ward to work­ing with the Gov­ern­ment of Canada to sup­port rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the USMCA and calls on all par­ties to sup­port the agree­ment as it moves through the Par­lia­ment.

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