Dairy Farmers of Canada released a statement shortly after finding out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to sign an agreement in principle on the Trans Pacific Partnership, saying while they’re happy he held firm for a better deal, they’re disappointed that market access concessions on agriculture were not mentioned among the outstanding issues.
According to today’s Ministerial Statement released from the TPP-11 talks in Da Nang Vietnam, no final agreement has been reached on a TPP-11 deal without the United States. Ministers from participating countries have indicated that they will continue to try to resolve several outstanding issues prior to concluding an agreement – the timeline for this remains uncertain. While Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) was pleased to see the Prime Minister hold firm for a better deal, we are disappointed that market access concessions on agriculture were not mentioned amongst the outstanding issues.
The original agreement, which included the United States, included a market access concession of 3.25% of Canada’s dairy market. DFC estimates that this represents a loss of up to $246 million dollars a year, in perpetuity. Given the withdrawal of the United States from the agreement, DFC considers that it will be imperative for the Canadian government to ensure that the original market access concessions on dairy and supply management be recalibrated to reflect the loss of the world’s largest economy from the deal.
Dairy Farmers of Canada strongly believe in the importance of our government ensuring that the outcome of any trade agreement is good for the country as a whole. From what we understand, at this point, the Prime Minister does not feel that any potential TPP-11 agreement has met these criteria. If the reports are accurate, it took a great deal of courage for the Prime Minister to do what he did in the face of international pressure. It will take even more courage to ensure that Canada gets a fair, recalibrated deal, that reflects the departure of the United States.
In taking this position, the Prime Minister has made it clear to both our TPP and NAFTA partners that his priority is Canada and its economy, and that Canada won’t be pushed around.
On behalf of all Canadian dairy farmers, thank you Prime Minister for your leadership, we fully support you in holding firm for the best deal for Canada – including recalibrated market access concessions reflecting the loss of the United States from the agreement. DFC will continue to closely monitor this situation as it unfolds.
Source: Dairyt Farmers of Canada/Blackburn News