Sudbury

Canadian Federation of Agriculture president says new trade deal to affect stability of dairy market

The president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture says the latest trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico could seriously affect the stability of Canada’s dairy market.

Ron Bonnett says dairy sector will be affected, but not all agricultural groups impacted

The president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture says the latest trade agreement between Canada, the United States and Mexico could seriously impact the stability of Canada's dairy market.

But Ron Bonnett says not all sectors of the agriculture industry will be negatively affected by the new deal.

Late Sunday night, an agreement called the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA, was reached by the three countries.

USMCA will give U.S. farmers about 3.6 per cent greater access to Canada's dairy industry.

Bonnett says that's on top of other agreements already in place, such as the Comprehensive and Progressive for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

He says the combination of those agreements "is enough to really impact the stability of the market."

"All of a sudden if you lose 10 per cent of your market share, your profitability can really change dramatically," he said.

Ron Bonnett is the president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. (Canadian Federation of Agriculture)

"This is just another layer of milk and other supply managed products coming into the country that really undermines the stability of the system we have in place here," he said.

Despite the uncertainty in the dairy sector, Bonnett says some industries could see growth.

"I think the livestock and green sectors were pleased to see that at least there's a deal in place that continues to give them tariff free access into the states," he said.

"So when you're looking at Canadian agriculture, there's a bit of a mix."

As for the difference in quality between Canadian and American products, Bonnet says they are quite similar. However, he says it's important for Canadians to think about what they're buying.

"You're keeping those jobs in Canada and creating economic opportunity in the communities where those farms are," he said.

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