Friday, February 3, 2017

Trump will target supply management

The Trump administration will target supply management and seed import restrictions when it opens negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Those are trade complaints listed in a report the administration is using as a guide to negotiations, reports Canadian Press.

The auto industry is also featured.

More specifically for agriculture, Canadian Press says the report targets:

—Cheese and dairy: Canada's regulations on compositional standards restrict access to the Canadian market for U.S. dry milk proteins. The report says Canada limits imports by providing milk components at discounted prices to domestic processors.

—Supply management: Canada limits imports of dairy, chicken, turkey, and eggs. The report says U.S. imports above quota levels face big tariffs — 245 per cent for cheese, 298 per cent for butter. "(This) inflates the prices Canadians pay for dairy and poultry."

—Wine and liquor: Canadians get taxed on imports of U.S. alcohol upon returning from U.S. trips, the report says. "This inhibits Canadians from purchasing U.S. alcoholic beverages while (travelling)." To boot, most provinces restrict sales of wine, beer, and spirits to provincial liquor boards, which have a monopoly. B.C. and Ontario also have grocery-store restrictions.

—Seeds and grain: Canada's Seeds Act generally prohibits the sale or advertising for sale or import into Canada of various seeds. Also, U.S. wheat and barley exporters struggle to receive a premium grade that indicates use for milling purposes.