Dairy Farmers of Canada says revised CPTPP agreement puts Canadian dairy at risk

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Farmers of Canada says the Canadian Government cannot 'continue to carve out portions of the dairy sector.' Pic:©GettyImages/Modfos
Dairy Farmers of Canada says the Canadian Government cannot 'continue to carve out portions of the dairy sector.' Pic:©GettyImages/Modfos

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Dairy Farmers of Canada has responded to reports that Canada will likely sign a revised CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement.

The deal includes the market access concessions originally agreed to in October 2015, when the US, the world's largest economy, was still a part of the deal.

DFC said although the loss of the US represents a loss of approximately 60% of the original TPP market GDP, the original concessions to Canada’s domestic dairy market remain.

It questioned how the deal is in the best interests of Canadians.

‘Somber day’ for Canadian dairy

The organization said while some sectors may see the recent CPTPP developments as a positive, it is ‘a somber day for the 221,000 Canadians that depend on the dairy sector for their livelihood.’

Pierre Lampron, president of DFC, said, "On the one hand, the Canadian government has repeatedly stated that it wants a vibrant, strong, and growing dairy sector that creates jobs and fosters investments; on the other hand, it continues to carve out pieces of our domestic dairy market, first through CETA, and now through the CPTPP.

"The Government must understand that in continuing to make these concessions, they are putting the Canadian dairy sector in jeopardy."

NAFTA concerns

The announcement coincides with NAFTA renegotiations, which DFC also said threatens to weaken the Canadian dairy industry.

The DFC said it is critical that the Canadian Government understands that when it comes to the renegotiation of NAFTA, they must not give up any more on the backs of the hundreds of thousands of farmers and workers in the Canadian dairy sector. 

"Our message to the Canadian government as it is negotiating NAFTA is simple: no more concessions - enough is enough, they cannot continue to carve out portions of the dairy sector,"​ Lampron said. 

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Posted by Jerome Schindler,

Meant U.S. not U.U.

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Canada needs a path out

Posted by Jerome Schindler,

In international trade negotiations Canada dairy is always problematic as domestic milk prices are significantly higher than most of the rest of the world. Production quotas are the most significant cause and once established they are almost impossible to discontinue . Like the New York City Taxi Medallion system these quotas become a valuable asset. The Government would likely have to pay current quota holders if that system were discontinued. The high prices Canadians pay for milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products is Just a hidden tax, and a regressive one to boot. Many years ago a quota type system was being pushed by the U.S. dairy producer lobby. Fortunately that idea never had legs. Maybe a coalition of the U.U, E.U and New Zealand should offer to help fund the elimination of the Canadian quota system, but that is pie in the sky thinking.

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