American negotiators included in the talks related to updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), want Canada to dismantle its system of protections for the dairy and poultry sectors, Reuters reports and adds that it has information that Ottawa will not accept the proposal.
This demand is additionally fueling the doubts that official Washington actually wants the agreement to collapse. Canada’s so-called management system imposes high tariffs on imports and controls domestic production as a means of supporting prices in the dairy, poultry, and egg sectors. That has long been a reason for complaints from the American producers.
The unnamed source told Reuters that U.S. wanted full access to Canadian markets within ten years, effectively killing off supply management. But, Canada has clearly said that the plan has no chance of succeeding.
Other unnamed sources say that the demands of the Americans are aggressive because, on milk alone, U.S. wants Canada to give up ten times what it conceded in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, CBC reports and reminds that at the end of TPP negotiations, Canada agreed to give up 3.25% of its market share to foreign producers.
“Outrageous. It would be the end of supply management … We are not surprised by the U.S. demands. They are in line with the demands they have made in other sectors,” said Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.
Canadian Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay described the idea of the Americans as a non-starter.
“I’ve stated from Day 1 that we have an excellent system in place. It’s a system that we’ve fought to put in place, and I’ve indicated quite clearly that our government is going to fight to make sure that it stays in place. To deal with anything else is simply a non-starter,” he said.