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