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Is protectionism impacting global trade?

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At the end of this month, the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement (USMCA) turns three. It hasn’t been in place that long, but it was agreed to in 2018. One prominent voice in the Canadian Ag sector says it is by no means perfect, but it is better than other agreements they have. That Federal-level protectionism is hurting trade negotiations, and it isn’t just happening in the United States. One of the worst offenders is a group of countries across the Atlantic.

Cam Dahl was the founder of Cereals Canada and is now the General Manager of the Canadian Pork Council. He says that governments are becoming much more involved with every aspect of trade deals. It is no longer about signing deals and letting industry find its balance. These governments are becoming very protective.

Dahl says that he is by no means anti-USMCA. He says it was mainly a much-needed update to the old North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA). He adds that the agreement was very sound and workable. He adds it is the closest thing to Free-Trade that we can expect.

Dahl cites his displeasure with Canada’s other major trade agreement partner, the European Union. He says their protectionism is hurting global trade. He adds that the points of contention are not over major issues, but rather petty ones that give them a right to keep anyone else’s products out of their confederation. These protectionist stances have long been the sticking point for the U.S. to negotiate a solid deal with the EU. Dahl says their tactics are hurting Canadian farmers. Something we don’t want to happen to the United States’ Ag sector.

Their CETA agreement has been in place for more than five years.