The National Farmers Union (NFU) is the latest farm group to weigh in on the recently signed US Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), and they claim the agreement takes away a competitve advantage Canadian dairy producers had over their southern counterparts.
In a press release issued by NFU Vice President of Policy Jan Slomp, he said he was very concerned about the termination of class six and seven milk pricing. These classes were created in response to milk being illegally imported from the US in the form of “diafiltered milk.” Processors used American diafiltered milk as high-protein ingredient in cheese and yogurt to replace Canadian milk. Slomp said the two classes of milk pricing allowed Canadians to sell high protein ingredients at a price that allowed them to compete with American dairy processors.
"Now, Canadian farmers are being punished for competing, Americans will again flood the market with discounted diafiltered milk. There will be reduced production on Canadian farms and fewer viable dairy farms in Canada," he said.
Slomp said the NFU also take no comfort in promises of compensation from the American government. Slomp used the example of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe, in which the Canadian government granted additional access for 17,500 tonnes of European cheese in the Canadian market.
"CETA shrinks total revenue available to Canadian farmers, yet the subsidy is given to the farmer that expands. To expand when revenue is diminished is a rather reckless business decision. It is a recipe for pushing more farmers out of business, not compensating them for a wrong-headed trade decision," Slomp said.
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