LONGUEUIL, QC, Sept. 30, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - A few hours from the deadline set by the U.S. administration to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), supply-managed sectors are deeply concerned about possible concessions by the Canadian government, particularly in the dairy sector.
"The Government of Canada must resist the United States' unjustified demands and continue to deny concessions in supply-managed sectors. Our farmers must not pay for every trade negotiation. Enough is enough! " said the President of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and spokesman for the Movement for Supply Management, Marcel Groleau.
Supply management in Canada generates more than 350,000 jobs. The dairy sector alone generates 221,000 and contributes $ 19.9 billion to GDP. In Quebec, the 6,513 family farms producing supply-managed products generate 116,000 jobs and generate $ 8.7 billion in contributions to GDP and $ 2.1 billion in tax benefits. They play a determining role in usin g land throughout our regions.
"Dairy production is critical for the economy of Quebec and Canada. It is sad to hear from the media that concessions may have been made. The silence of the federal authorities, under the circumstances, is unacceptable and brings back bad memories. Is Canada's future to produce Chevrolet Impala or to feed its population? " concluded Mr. Groleau.
As Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard recently put it, "Nowhere is it written that Canada and Quebec must serve as a spillover for U.S. milk overproduction." For the Movement for Supply Management, Canadian negotiators must keep in mind that a nation's food ressources are not ordinary commodities. In this case, it is a question of national security.
It should be remembered that the Canadian government conceded market shares under supply management in the last two trade negotiations, the one with the European Union (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). These concessions represent permanent and recurring financial losses of $ 260 million a year for dairy farmers, losses for which they have never been compensated.
SOURCE Union des producteurs agricoles
For further information: Patrice Juneau, Conseiller principal, Affaires publiques et relations médias, L'Union des producteurs agricoles, 514 702-8591, [email protected]; François Dumontier, Directeur adjoint, relations publiques et gouvernementales, Les Producteurs de lait du québec, 514 713-0530, [email protected]