On Sunday, September 30th, Canada and the United States came to a new NAFTA agreement, just hours before the looming deadline for Canada to be included. While the agricultural industry was hoping Trudeau would hold strong, the new deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), will most likely hurt Canadian dairy farmers.
Canada has agreed to give the U.S. dairy farmers access to 3.59 per cent of its approximately $16 billion annual domestic dairy market and will eliminate its class 6 and class 7 milk categories and pricing schedules, which the U.S. said priced them out of the Canadian market. The removal will cut prices on some milk ingredients like protein concentrates, skim milk, skim milk proteins and whole milk powder. Plus, while the U.S. is gaining access to Canada’s market, Canada’s access to the U.S. market has decreased.
Doug Ford, Ontario’s Premier, said farmers were being “thrown under the bus” and emphasized the need for federal compensation for any Canadian farmers affected by the new deal, which Trudeau has agreed to.
Some experts are estimating a big disruption in the market for consumers, and others say there might not be a noticeable difference in cost. For the agricultural industry, there are still some key details missing about USMCA, but the general consensus seems to be disapproval. For now, hopefully, Canadian consumers will continue to support Canadian dairy farmers.