New NAFTA Will Hurt Farmers and Consumers: Advocates, Farmers on Both Sides of Border

June 12, 2019
Media Release

Ottawa — The new NAFTA, officially known as CUSMA just cleared a major step on the path to ratification as it started second reading in the House of Commons. But Canadians and Americans alike will already start to see the impacts where it counts— the dinner table, according to trade watchdogs and farmers on both sides of the Canada-US border.

Canadian consumers at risk of dairy products from sources with lower safety, health, and animal welfare standards.

CUSMA, which the Trudeau government is pressing to ratify before October’s Federal Election, grants increased imports of US poultry, eggs, and dairy to Canadians. As change advocates stress, this will risk the quality and safety of Canadian food:

“These products are in your fridge and on your children’s plate, and trade agreements will directly impact Canadians’ ability to trust where and how their food was produced,’’ said Maude Barlow, Honorary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, “saving Canada’s supply management and family farms is vital not just for farmers, but for healthy food and vibrant communities.”

American dairy farmers and consumers would benefit from Canada’s supply management model.

“If President Trump really wants to help farmers, consumers, and taxpayers – he would lobby for a U.S. supply management program. Canada’s supply management program guarantees farmers a fair price and guarantees consumers adequate food supplies grown locally – with no taxpayer subsidies required,” said Jim Goodman, dairy farmer and President of the U.S. National Family Farm Coalition.

“By ending supply management, the new NAFTA will force Canadian farmers into an industrial farming model of low farm prices, over production and taxpayer funded farm subsidy programs,” said Jan Slomp, Dairy Farmer and former President of the National Farmers Union, “Why support trade that pushes Canada’s farmers out of a system that provides a fair income to farmers and insures consumers an affordable supply of locally produced food?”

Barlow emphasized the long-term results of corporate-friendly trade agreements on family farms:

“NAFTA and company have quietly eroded the fabric of the Canadian family farm pushing us into intensive factory farms. We must support our local farmers, and the kind of agriculture which is sustainable for our planet and for our future.”

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Founded in 1985, the Council of Canadians is Canada’s leading social action organization, mobilizing a network of 60 chapters across the country.

Through our campaigns we advocate for clean water, fair trade, green energy, public health care, and a vibrant democracy. We educate and empower people to hold our governments and corporations accountable.

Join us and be part of a global movement working for social and environmental justice. We believe a better Canada and a fairer world are possible. Together, we turn that belief into action.

The Council of Canadians is a registered non-profit organization and does not accept money from corporations or governments. Our work is sustained by the volunteer energy and generous donations of people like you.

For more information, contact:

Ravi Joshi
Director of Communications, Council of Canadians
647-833-5836
rjoshi@canadians.org

Read more about the new NAFTA and Canadian dairy.
 

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