Canada braced for hard bargaining on dairy when NAFTA talks resume

August 10, 2018

The United States has unfinished business with Canada's supply-managed dairy, egg and poultry sectors if bargaining to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement gets down to the short strokes this fall.

U.S. farmers could have sold more of their products into Canada under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries negotiated during the Obama administration. But President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal in his first week in office.

Now he's out to redeem himself at the NAFTA table — or force even more out of Canada, after imposing previously-unthinkable tariffs on steel and aluminum and threatening to do the same to cars...

Under the CPTPP — the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the modified version of the TPP being ratified by the remaining 11 countries — Canada creates 20 new tariff rate quotas (TRQs) allowing limited quantities of dairy, poultry and egg imports, to be phased in over 11 to 19 years. They're worth about 3.25 per cent of Canada's market...

When the remaining TPP countries decided to proceed without the U.S., no TRQ was revised or suspended. Without American suppliers, it's hard to imagine all of that quota being used.

Instead, American expectations are "simply (being) transferred to NAFTA," Wolfe said...

One possible Canadian response to another American request for market space could be... "We gave you access and you walked away, so no — if you want to come back, it's there [in the TPP]."...

This was excerpted from 10 August 2018 edition of the CBC News.

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