OTTAWA, Aug. 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) welcomes today's announcement by the federal government of compensation for the impact of market access concessions granted under the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP). The amount of $1.75 billion will help mitigate the impact of these agreements on dairy farmers and the hundreds of thousands of people who depend on this sector for their livelihood.
Today's announcement is consistent with the recommendations of the working group established following the signing of the agreement with the United States and Mexico. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has promised that dairy producers would determine the amount of compensation necessary to maintain a dynamic industry notwithstanding the concessions made during the trade negotiations. Dairy producers, their processing colleagues and the government collaborated as part of the working group to calculate losses from agreements with European Union and transpacific countries. The working group recommended direct compensation to dairy farmers for the negative impacts from these trade deals.
"There is no doubt that conceding part of our domestic dairy market has had a major impact on the livelihoods of dairy producers", said DFC President Pierre Lampron. "Prime Minister Trudeau recognized this and committed to mitigating this impact. We welcome today's announcement as a continuation of this commitment."
The three agreements—CETA, CPTPP and the Canada-USA-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)—have opened the door to foreign dairy made from milk from dairy farmers in foreign countries. DFC estimates that the market access granted under these agreements represents an annual loss equivalent to 8.4% of the country's milk production. Adding these concessions to the access already granted under the WTO, it is estimated that by 2024, nearly 20% of domestic demand for dairy products will be met by imports.
"While we are grateful for today's announcement, we would have preferred no concessions to our domestic dairy production", added Pierre Lampron. "The Prime Minister has made another commitment: no further concessions would be made to our domestic dairy market in future trade negotiations. Our expectation is that he will keep that commitment as well", concluded Mr. Lampron.
Finally, a strong Canadian dairy sector must ensure that both producers and dairy processors are competitive in a dynamic market place. That is why DFC encourages the federal government to deploy measures in support of dairy processing in Canada.
ABOUT DAIRY FARMERS OF CANADA
Dairy Farmers of Canada is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canadian dairy producers. DFC strives to create stable conditions for the dairy sector in our country. It also seeks to maintain policies that promote the sustainability of Canadian dairy production and promote dairy products and their health benefits.
SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC)
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