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U.S. access to Canadian chicken grows

U.S. access to Canadian chicken grows

UMSCA makes fundamental changes to poultry industry

Staff Writer
While concerned about the implications for the supply management system, Canadian chicken producers are relieved to have a new North American Free Trade Agreement, a Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) release said Monday.
The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ensures security for the ag industry but alters American access to the Canadian market.
When combined with the imports allowed under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), international producers will have access to an extra 12 million kilograms of the Canadian market. 
The new tariff rate quota will reach 57,000 metric tons by the sixth year of the USMCA agreement and will increase by 1 per cent for the following ten years, a CFC backgrounder said.
"Under the NAFTA rule, we had a trade obligation to import 7.5 per cent of production. That no longer exists," Michael Laliberté, CFC executive director, told "With the new (USMCA) agreement ... U.S. access will start at 47 million kilograms in year one, and it will go to 57 million after year five with an increase of 2 million per year. In years six to ten, it will grow by 1 per cent to reach a maximum of close to 63 million kilograms."
Import stability is a priority for the Canadian chicken industry. Canada is the 14th-largest importer of chicken globally, with imports coming into the country either duty-free or with low tariffs.
“Without a predictable level of imports, and when more access is given, production decreases in Canada,” Benoît Fontaine, chair of the CFC said in the Monday release. “This results in lost jobs, lost production and decreased consumer access to Canadian-raised products, not to mention the reduction in the contribution to Canada’s economy.”
The CFC has also requested that the Canadian government halts imports of unlimited quantities of broiler chicken that are falsely declared as spent fowl. “Companies … (also) substitute high-value imported cuts with low-value domestic cuts for re-export,” the release said.   
The CFC anticipates working with the Canadian government to enact changes in the best interest of the industry, Fontaine said.
Updated Oct. 4, 2018
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