Ensuring Canadian agriculture is represented in trade negotiations
Agriculture and trade negotiations are among the key topics addressed in CFA’s advocacy meetings with parliamentarians and government officials. We also bring recommendations forward in presentations on the Hill and at industry conferences and other meetings.
In late October 2018, CFA board members met with over 30 MPs during our Fall Lobby Day. The USMCA and CPTPP agreements were one of the key topics discussed, with CFA identifying the positive and negative aspects of each agreement. While CFA kept in close contact with negotiators throughout the entire process of both negotiations, it expressed deep disappointment about the market access concessions made in supply management sectors in both those agreements. Members noted the market access gains made in CPTPP for Canadian Agriculture exporters, urging the government to ratify that agreement as quickly as possible. CFA applauded the Canada’s ratification and royal ascent of the CPTPP the week of Oct 29.
While CFA is supportive of gaining access to new markets, successive trade deals such as CETA, CPTPP and USMCA, in addition to the Global access through the WTO, have resulted in successive market access concessions to supply management sectors, resulting in an aggregate TRQ of around 18% for dairy alone. CFA has strongly urged the government to work closely with each respective supply management sector to develop mitigation programs. It also continues to maintain that Canada must find ways to find increased profitable market access for Canadian Agriculture exporters without sacrificing supply management.
- Agriculture and agri-food systems generated $111 billion in 2016, accounting for 6.7 % of Canada’s GDP.
- Agriculture provides one in eight jobs in Canada, employing over 2.3 million people.
- The performance of the agriculture and agri-food system depends on their ability to compete in both domestic and international markets.
- Canada was the world’s fifth-largest exporter of agriculture and agri-food products in 2014, with 3.6% of the total value of world agriculture exports.
- The U.S. is Canada’s most important export destination accounting for 56% of total Canadian exports. China accounts for 9.2%, while Japan, E.U., and Mexico account for 17% combined.
Key Recommendations Going Forward:
- Provide real and meaningful market access opportunities for our export-oriented sectors, such as red meats, grains and oil seeds without compromising supply management
- Fully mitigate any potential losses supply-managed sectors face as a result of the Canada–EU Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
- Address the leaks in current import controls for supply managed products.
- Engage in bi-lateral trade discussions with China.
- Ensure that access gained through current trade agreements is not eroded by non-tariff barriers
- Focus on regulatory harmonization in agreements already in place.
- Include regulatory alignment in any future trade deals.
- Government must prioritize working with supply management industries to develop effective programs to mitigate the impact of market access concessions.
- Canada should continue to work on regulatory alignment issues and non-tariff barriers to “thin” the border post implementation including meat re-inspection
- CFA recommends federal officials to take advantage of the domestic support chapter to to try to achieve a more level playing field.
- The Government of Canada including Border Services must exercise due diligence to prevent illegal circumvention of Canadian TRQs and Canada’s import control list.
- Mercosur, officially Southern Common Market,is a South American trade bloc, with Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and Venezuela as members. Associate countries are Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Suriname. Observer countries are New Zealand and Mexico.
- Canada has just finished its fourth negotiating round with Mercosur
- Since Canada stands to gain very little in agriculture, if anything, CFA urges the government to clearly identify the risks of negotiations in agriculture for all sectors, and to firmly commit to not offering market access concessions in supply management.
- Canada needs to ensure that, country of origin negotiations in Mercosur, do not undermine Canada’s sugar beet production for export and domestic refined sugar markets.