Dairy farmers up in arms over trade deal

File | Maine Public

The appropriately named the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, may impact industries here in north Alabama if approved by all three countries legislatures.

The agreement, reached by leaders Sunday before NAFTA's October 1 expiration, will reopen dairy trade between us and Canada. NAFTA would be replaced with the United States, Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement. The agreement also contains a sunset clause to expire or renew after 16 years.

Dairy farmers are right when they say they have been forced to keep giving in recent trade deals, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In a blatant attempt to invert the script on election "meddling" and interference, Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday accused the Chinese government of seeking to undermine USA democracy and charged, without evidence, that Beijing is acting malevolently because "China wants a different American president".

KIRWAN: Heinze cites issues like the nonstop growth of US milk production and the disconnect between what farmers receive for their milk and prices at the grocery store. In May, a pound of bagged milk could cost one dollar but might be $1.25 per pound a month or two later. He said it's something he thinks the USMCA won't solve. Incredibly cheap and abundant American milk would undercut the Canadian market significantly, so Canada slaps tariffs on it to protect its own farmers.

"TPP, the Asian agreement, and the European agreement, we're down 10 per cent in the previous year, so, it's the number of cows but it's also, our net income is down 10 per cent".

While touting USMCA as a good deal for Canadians by securing access to its largest trading partner and the largest market in the world, Trudeau acknowledged farmers' sacrifices. At last week's press conference, a reporter from the New York Times asked Trump how he can successfully negotiate with Chinese President Xi when he just accused him of interfering in US elections.

"Once again, dairy farmers again paid the price to conclude an worldwide trade agreement", it reads.

"The government has said repeatedly that it values a strong and vibrant dairy sector". NAFTA required automakers to produce 62.5 percent of a vehicle's content in North America to qualify for zero tariffs. "While I understand why people see this provision as a bit of an infringement on Canadian sovereignty, that's not typical of an FTA", said Matthew Kronby, a Toronto-based trade lawyer at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP.

Negotiations to modernize NAFTA began in August 2017 as U.S. President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the trilateral trade deal, arguing that it harmed U.S. industries and jobs. "In the case of milk, it's 3.5 per cent of domestic consumption". "By strengthening the rules and procedures governing trade and investment, the agreement will provide a solid foundation for building Canada's prosperity and demonstrate the benefits of open trade for the rest of the world". "If we lost that market, our milk price would drop even more". But Canada has strict import rules and regulations on its own domestic dairy industry, created to keep it healthy.

"Big picture, it's a fantastic move forward", said John Stuhlmiller, CEO of the Washington Farm Bureau (WFB).

"It will increase the flow of milk in both directions across the border, which is good for trade and good for our upstate farmers", Heyn told The Daily Star on Wednesday.

"There's a lot of gains, a lot of neutrals, and there are some significant improvements for dairy", he added.