Several agricultural industries will experience losses due to Canada’s involvement in CPTPP
By Diego Flammini
Ontario’s premier is calling on the federal government to include financial support for the country's agricultural sector in the federal budget.
Kathleen Wynne has asked Minister of Finance Bill Morneau to set aside $1.4 billion over 10 years to support Canadian producers, specifically those in supply managed sectors.
Farmers “should not be placed at an unfair disadvantage by this trade agreement, which is why I am calling on the federal government to work with us to get transitional assistance in place before the deal is ratified,” she said during an appearance at the Toronto Region Board of Trade on Thursday, according to The Canadian Press.
As part of Canada’s involvement in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), $135.1 million worth of dairy imports will enter Canada from other CPTPP member countries, says a Global Affairs Canada trade agreement analysis.
That number represents a 13 per cent increase in dairy imports, compared to $3.5 million worth (or a 0.43 per cent increase) of Canadian dairy exports going to other member countries.
Nationally, Dairy Farmers of Canada estimates the industry will lose $160 million per year.
Provincially, Ontario’s agri-food sector will surrender about $500 million over five years, Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) projects.
Given those projected losses, Ontario’s dairy sector is pleased with the Premier’s request.
"On behalf Ontario's dairy farmers, we appreciate the Premier and Minister of Agriculture's ongoing support of supply management and the recognition of its importance to the Ontario economy,” Ralph Dietrich, chair of Dairy Farmers of Ontario, told Farms.com today in an emailed statement. “Ontario's dairy industry contributes as much as $5 billion to the Ontario (gross domestic product) and trade deals such as CPTPP erode its impact.
“It is important that the contribution of Ontario's dairy not be diminished because we are one of the major contributors to Ontario's strong rural economy and Ontario's economy as a whole."
The dairy sector won’t be the only industry to experience losses with the ratification of CPTPP.
Canadian exports of wheat and cereal grains to member countries will drop by $36 million (0.24 per cent), but imports of those products will rise by $16.8 million (0.50 per cent), according to Global Affairs Canada.
Oil seed exports will decline by $65.3 million (0.51 per cent), but imports will increase by $4.6 million (0.52 per cent).
Live animal exports will fall by $17.9 million (1.07 per cent), but imports will rise by $3.6 million (1.67 per cent).
But other agricultural sectors will benefit from CPTPP.
Beef exports to CPTPP countries are projected to increase by $380 million (9.49 per cent), according to Global Affairs Canada. Beef imports are only expected to rise by $18.5 million (0.83 per cent).
And pork exports are estimated to rise by $625 million (10.07 per cent). Pork imports from member countries are expected to increase by $87.2 million (1.84 per cent).