Article Date: 09/25/2015

With Canadian Conservatives hopeful to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the upcoming October 19th election, there are worries that “fast offers” could “seriously disrupt the supply-managed dairy sector.” If that happens, the Dairy Farmers of Canada have already made a statement that there will be war.

How much of Canada’s dairy market will be opened up to American products? We will have to wait and see, but Canada is prepared to offer up a large share. The United States has requested 10 percent, however, that was declined at previous negotiation meetings. If Canada agrees to just half of that (5 percent), that is still a very large portion of their domestic dairy market. That is STILL over double what the 2013 Canada-Europe Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement was a 2 percent (not yet ratified).

The biggest problem for the Canadian dairy industry: “The trade deal would not offer Canadian dairy products any new international markets. So, more imports would mean a smaller Canadian industry.” Harper has offered dairy farmers/producers compensation for losses per the EU Deal. However, a compensation of 10 percent of milk production via TPP is a whopping 2 billion dollars alone.

Yves Leduc from Dairy Farmers of Canada believes Canada is on an unlevel playing field. The United States industry is about ten times the size of Canada’s. “They don’t want to be a dumping ground,” Leduc says. “Why should we open our markets for dumped products from the U.S., or anywhere else?” Dairy players also have not been told that chicken and other supplied-managed commodities are exempt from TPP. Clearly this negotiation is still up in the air, but for how much longer?

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