Sask. MP hopes NAFTA deal won't compromise dairy sector

By Nigel Maxwell
September 11, 2018 - 2:00pm

The Member of Parliament for Carlton - Eagle Creek is keeping a close eye on the NAFTA negotiations.

That’s because the majority of Saskatchewan's supply managed dairy farms are located in Kelly Block's riding. Pressure has been mounting on Ottawa in recent weeks to loosen protections around Canada's dairy sector. 

"You know at this point while I have had some correspondence from constituents on both sides of the issue, the majority are supporting supply management," she said.

United States President Donald Trump said he doesn't necessarily want Canada to scrap its supply management system — just remove what the Americans see as trade barriers. Block said she was quite concerned with how the NAFTA talks have progressed. She said the Conservatives were able to negotiate dozens of trade deals without losing supply management.

"I would suggest that we haven't ever been in such a weak negotiating position where supply management was a barrier to a deal," she said.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland met Tuesday with her US counterpart, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. She told reporters afterwards she was not prepared to say whether they were any closer to a new trade deal. Freeland has been scheduled to travel to Saskatoon this week to attend Liberal caucus meetings.


— with files from The Canadian Press

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On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell


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