Monday, 22 October, 2018

Farm Bureau welcomes U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with steel workers from Stelco Hamilton Works in Hamilton Ontario Premier Promises To Protect Province's Economy Under USMCA
Cristina Norman | 05 October, 2018, 08:28

US dairy farmers remain hopeful a new trade deal with Canada could help lift them out of a deep slump, but some are casting doubt it will make much of a difference in an American market flooded with milk.

The Dairy Farmers of Canada said market-share losses from recent trade deals is 18 per cent, an amount worth $1.8-billion to milk producers. Representatives John Katko (R-Camillus), Elise Stefanik (R-Willsboro) and Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) all say the deal will help upstate dairy farmers by opening up Canada's dairy market to more products. "It won't be able to do anything for the fact that the dairy industry is not able to grow and will actually shrink".

Class 7 is a domestic pricing class that governs milk ingredients such as skim milk powder and milk proteins.

Dairy Farmers of Canada issued a terse statement nearly immediately after the 11th-hour agreement was announced late Sunday, following 14 months of hard negotiations between the parties.

"How do you compensate for that?"

"That's really a lot better than the alternative", he said.

Graeff says US dairy futures are “mostly steady to firm, ” but he notes “there was no major market move” after the news.

Warren Graeff, agriculture banking market manager for PNC Bank, says “ultimately the news appears friendly to the USA dairy industry.” PNC has about 2,600 branches spread across 19 states, including several in Madison and Milwaukee.

But on the Canadian street, many bystanders interviewed by local media breathed a sigh of relief at the prospect of stability returning to Canada-US relations.

Angry dairy farmers have been quick to condemn the deal, invoking a common catch-phrase to describe what they believe is happening to their industry: Death by a thousand cuts.

Essentially what we've seen is the framework for a new agreement between the three countries that ensures that we'll maintain zero tariff access for the long term.

Agricultural organizations are praising the agreement, particularly the dairy industry groups.

Their meeting comes on the heels of the newly negotiated trade agreement between the United States, Canada and Mexico, the one that replaced NAFTA.

"They are gaining access to our market, and at the same time shutting us out of theirs", Wiens said.

Still, in the short run, the deal isn't likely to raise the price USA farmers receive for their milk - which in some cases has been below their cost of production.

"Since Prime Minister Trudeau did not give in on key issues, I don't think he'll pay a political price at the polls next year", Belanger said.

What dairy farmers were offered in the deal is "mainly symbolic", and represents only a small reduction in Canadian protectionism, Economist Ethan Harris of Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note to clients, CNBC reported.

The treaty must be ratified by Congress and the legislatures of Mexico and Canada.

Other key aspects include lengthening the patents on biologic pharmaceuticals by two years to 10 years from eight, and increasing the amount Canadians can spend online at USA retailers without paying duty to $150 from $20.

The United Steelworker's Canadian branch president Ken Neuman, however, called the deal a "sellout" for failing to eliminate 25 per cent steel and 10 per cent aluminum tariffs imposed in June by the Trump administration.

"Today's announcement is proof that House Republicans under President Trump's leadership are getting our nation back on track and standing up for American interests", Collins said.

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