Monday, 22 October, 2018

Alberta dairy farmers anxious about USMCA

So Much Winning We Have A New NAFTA Deal Trump: Trade deal returns US to ‘manufacturing powerhouse’
Cristina Norman | 05 October, 2018, 13:19

Late on Sunday, the United States and Canada reached a deal to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), complementing an accord the Trump administration brokered with Mexico, the third member of NAFTA, in late August. The United Steelworkers of Canada adopted a less conciliatory tone after the new trade deal was announced, calling it a "sell-out" for Canadian workers. Canada's loonie is also way up from where it was recently, with the Mexican peso also trading at a higher value too because of the new deal.

The agreement ends more than a year of tortuous melodrama, name-calling, insults and threats from U.S. President Donald Trump, and capped a weekend of 11th-hour negotiations created to meet the midnight deadline imposed by Trump to either get in or get out of the trilateral free trade agreement that Mexico had already signed off on behind Canada's back.

Hundreds of pages of the agreement released early on Monday contain updated arrangements for Canada's dairy industry and measures aimed at shifting lower-paid auto manufacturing jobs from Mexico.

He said Canada produces milk to supply the domestic market and uses the supply management system to balance it and to make sure there is the proper amount of milk that is produced for Canadian consumption.

Political deadlines are often fuzzy but Canada and the USA appear to be working towards some major compromises and a NAFTA deal.

TRUMP: "This deal will also impose new standards requiring at least 75 per cent of every automobile to be made in North America in order to qualify for the privilege of free access to our markets". Never mind that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is similar to the original NAFTA.

He says Canada will work to protect local industries from US producers flooding the market with steel and aluminum.

But it came at a cost. It grants USA milk producers access to 3.6 per cent of the Canadian domestic market.

"It feels like a death by a thousand cuts", Cambridge, Ont., dairy farmer Mike Bechtel told CTV Kitchener.

While increased demand is good for every dairy farmer, big farms who sell to co-ops stand to see the biggest impact. "However, the absence of details on measures to mitigate the impact of the concessions made within the USMCA, as well as the absence of a vision for the future of our industry at this time, can not appease the concerns of the dairy farmers". The NDP also calls the deal bad for individual Canadians because they will be paying more for medication.

In exchange, Canada and Mexico received relief from the impending auto tariffs Trump might impose.

But the president said his administration had not yet agreed to lift tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, a contentious issue between the two neighbors. It is also well above the 1.8 million cars and SUVs Mexico sent north previous year.

However, a few issues like U.S. tariffs on steel amd aluminum imports, along with retaliatory tariffs were left out of the USMCA deal.

Trade autonomy: one more alarming concession that has many concerned in Ottawa is language that may restrict Canada's ability to negotiate a trade deal with a "non-market" country, for example, China.

The news delighted financial markets that had fretted for months about the potential economic damage if NAFTA blew up.

The Canadian dollar surged to its highest since May against the US dollar, gaining around 0.5 percent from Friday's close.

"Though markets were already anticipating an agreement, one source of worry will be swept away if a deal is made", Yukio Ishizuki, senior currency strategist at Daiwa Securities in Tokyo, said. Now, this country and its leaders appear to be back in the mercurial USA president's good books.

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