According to a former Conservative cabinet minister and member of the NAFTA Trade Council help is coming for family dairy farmers after the U.S, Canada, and Mexico agreed to a revamped trade pact.
James Moore says while concessions were made to allow increased American penetration into Canada’s protected dairy markets the overall exposure is pretty minimal.
That said Moore adds about 16,000 supply managed family farms are going to be impacted.
“For them this is sort of a betrayal of their expectation of what their business agreement was going to be with the Government of Canada. But it is a very mild opening. The Liberals have signaled, if they haven’t done so publicly I know that they will shortly, that they are going to provide compensation for that lost market value of that quota that has been guaranteed to these Canadian dairy farmers.”
Moore says while taxpayers will have to pay to compensate some family dairy farmers with more competition will also come lower prices for consumers.
On the U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs remaining in place Moore says those conversations are ongoing.
“As I say those conversations are still ongoing quote quote. So we will see. The 232, which is the code for the power of the United States to randomly impose tariffs because they subjectively decide something is a national security threat, that power is going to remain. That power is not going to go away.”
He adds Canadians should take some solace that the tariffs are not so much aimed at Canada as much as China in an attempt to counter predatory and unfair trade practices.
Moore says the pact cannot be assessed as having winners or losers but he notes U.S. President Donald Trump might want to hold off on taking a victory lap.
“Donald Trump came in with a heavy list of demands. He wanted to have a five year sunset clause. He wanted to end government procurement and he made some gains in terms of what he wanted but not frankly to the scale that he had hoped for.”
Moore says while a deal has been struck the story is far from over as it must be ratified by all three governments.
“These things are laced with all kinds of unintended consequences and imperfections. Some people will light up and go crazy about it. Some people will offer sober analysis. There may be as a result some tweaking that has to be done.”
He says Canada kept its eyes on the ball, stayed out of the emotion of the Donald Trump daily roller coaster, and secured a deal that ensures free trade is the ultimate winner.