Dairy Farmers of Canada comment on Canada and the TransPacific Partnership

OTTAWA, Nov. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian government has formally indicated its desire to join the TransPacific Partnership negotiations this weekend. Prime Minister Harper was also very clear that Canada will not pre-negotiate its entry in the TPP, as it relates to agricultural supply management, intellectual property rights or other broad Canadian interests.

"Supply management has not stood in the way of Canada's ability to successfully negotiate trade agreements in the past and it is unlikely to do so in the future," said Wally Smith, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Canada has concluded trade deals including the NAFTA, and bilateral with Jordan, Columbia, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, Israel, EFTA (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) while balancing Canadian interests. Other trade negotiations are underway as well, including one with the European Union (CETA).

"Every country recognizes the importance of their agricultural and other economic sectors, said Wally Smith. "The Government recognizes that agriculture is important to the Canadian economy and that the stability of supply management can be counted on to provide over 215,000 jobs in various regions across the country." Indeed, the Canadian dairy sector is first or second in importance in agriculture in seven provinces out of 10, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

"The Canadian government understands the importance of stability in markets - agricultural or financial, as stated recently at the G-20 meeting," said Smith. "Supply management allows farmers to negotiate with processors in a more balance way in a concentrated dairy sector. Canadians - from farmers to consumers - have not had to deal with wild fluctuations observed in world dairy markets in recent years."

"Supply management allows farmers to make a living from the marketplace in Canada," explained Smith. "The government has no desire to see our farmers have to compete against the treasuries of other countries."

The Canadian dairy industry is more generous in its imports than most other developed countries. Canada imports over 6% of the dairy products consumed in Canada. By comparison, the United States imports about 3% of dairy products and Europe even less.

SOURCE DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA (CORPORATE)

For further information:

Thérèse Beaulieu
Assistant Director, Communications
613-236-9997 x 2751
Cell 613-371-5023

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DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA (CORPORATE)

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