Dairy farmers in Canada “paid the price” to conclude an international trade agreement, according to Dairy Farmers of Canada. The recently announced U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement includes allowing the U.S. expanded dairy market access.
Canada’s dairy industry says the concessions show Canada is “willing to sacrifice our domestic dairy production when it comes time to make a deal.” The issue for Canada dairy farmers is deeper than the NAFTA renegotiation, however.
The USMCA follows two previous trade agreements in which access to the Canadian dairy market was granted, CETA, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, and the CPTPP that replaced the Trans-Pacific Partnership sacrificed the equivalent of a quarter of a billion dollars annually in dairy production to other countries.
The USMCA, according to the Canada dairy association, not only gives more access to the Canadian dairy market but it also “lets the Americans dictate” Canada’s dairy policies. The organization says the livelihood of the thousands of Canadians and the future generations of dairy producers is seriously at risk due to the agreement.