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
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)
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