July 24, 2017

Changes to Canadian Supply Management Not Going to Happen

 |  By: Mike Opperman

NAFTA renegotiations are about to heat up with the first of seven rounds of trade talks to begin on August 16th. Jim Wiesemeyer, economist with Farm Journal Pro and Shaun Haney with Real Agriculture in Canada joined Mike Adams on AgriTalk recently to give their predictions on how the talks will go. Here’s a snapshot of what was said:

  • Wiesemeyer: Goal is to conclude negotiations in first quarter of 2018. “Almost every ag group says do no harm, build upon it, and I think that’s what we’ll see.” But can they get the votes? Congress is having trouble passing anything through the chamber.
  • Haney: Canadians also realize that the U.S. Congress will be the limiting factor to any changes that will occur to NAFTA, noting that any big changes won’t get passed. With regard to changing the supply management structure as has been requested by U.S. organizations, Haney says that’s not going to happen. “I have been told by almost every dairy official that I’ve talked to – absolutely not.” The demand for butterfat is so high that Canada needs to find markets for milk proteins, which is a byproduct of butter production. “To use a beef analogy, it’s like everyone wants a ribeye, but we have no idea what to do with the glut of the rest of the animal.”
  • Wiesemeyer: Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member of the House Ag Committee, will be the key person in negotiations. His opinion on NAFTA 2.0 will influence other democrats.

Here’s the full AgriTalk interview:  

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