Premier, Agriculture Minister Statement On NAFTA, Dairy Producers

Victoria (With files from NPR , Wikipedia) –  As the NAFTA talks continue, and US President Trump continues to make his thoughts known over Canada’s Dairy subsidies, Both Premier John Horgan and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham issued a joint statement.

In a nutshell, Supply management  is the Canadian national agricultural policy framework that coordinates supply and demand of dairy, poultry and eggs through production and import control and pricing mechanisms designed to prevent shortages and surpluses, to ensure farmers a fair rate of return and Canadian consumer access to a high-quality, stable, and secure supply of these sensitive products.

There are over 78 hundred people in BC connected to the dairy industry and many of them are in the Fraser Valley.

Trump is not happy with Supply Management. In a story from June, NPR in the US stated: President Trump has railed against Canada for taking advantage of the U.S. when it comes to trade. A particular point of criticism is the dairy industry. Canada slaps steep tariffs on imports of milk, cheese and butter from the U.S., something Trump has called a “disgrace.”

NPR continued in their article: supply management helps keep prices stable, gives farmers a steady income and has succeeded in avoiding a milk surplus in Canada.

The statement from Horgan and Popham:

Premier John Horgan and Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, have issued the following statement in support of British Columbia’s dairy industry in light of ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations:

“As NAFTA negotiations continue, we want to reinforce that the B.C. government remains a steadfast advocate for more than 7,850 people working in B.C.’s dairy industry.

“With 479 licensed milk producers and 52 provincially licensed dairy plants, our industry accounts for almost 9% of the Canadian market.

“B.C. continues to stand behind Canada’s supply management system, which includes the dairy industry. We will keep working with our federal colleagues to help best protect B.C.’s dairy industry as these important and challenging negotiations continue.

“We thank Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and her team, for their dedicated efforts to conclude negotiations that best protect Canadian interests.”

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