PEI

Dairy Farmers of P.E.I. protest Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Dairy Farmers of P.E.I. are holding a rally today to express frustration over the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

Canada in final talks on international trade deal

Tractors belonging to eastern Ontario dairy farmers head down Bank Street in downtown Ottawa as they protest possible dairy concessions during Trans-Pacific Partnership discussions on Tuesday. (Andrew Foote/CBC)

The Dairy Farmers of P.E.I. are holding a rally today to express frustration over the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

There are 175 dairy farmers on the Island. The rally starts at noon outside Gail Shea's campaign office in Summerside. 

Canadian dairy farmers are concerned about an American target to access up to 10 per cent American of the Canadian market.

The Dairy Farmers of P.E.I. says under supply management, Canada is already too open as it grants about eight per cent of the domestic market to imports. 

Ontario dairy farmers descended on Ottawa on Tuesday. 

Harold MacNevin, chairman of the group, says allowing any amount of foreign markets into Canada will hurt P.E.I.'s dairy industry and possibly keep it from growing.

"The biggest fear is that more access is granted and our quotas will be reduced because of that. Farmers may make the decision as to what their future is," he said.

"Instead of a long-term investment and continuing operation, maybe they'll decide just continue at the rate [they currently have] and then eventually get out of the business. What we are we asking for is to make sure that zero access is granted through this TPP deal."

Starting today, International Trade Minister Ed Fast will join the Canadian delegation in Atlanta for two days of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

The deal could be struck within weeks. 

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