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Agri-Food Economic Systems Warns Canada Must Prepare for Shifting Global Trade Environment
Dr. Al Mussell - Agri-Food Economic Systems

Farmscape for January 31, 2017

The Research Lead with Agri-Food Economic Systems suggests the volume of trade actions being contemplated by the United States could potentially overwhelm the Canadian government's ability to react.
Agri-Food Economic Systems has released an independent Agri-Food Policy Note, "Resetting a New Agri-Food Trade Policy Agenda.
Dr. Al Mussell, the Research Lead with Agri-Food Economic Systems, says what was emerging quickly, and the early days of the Trump administration reminded us of this, is that we have a new and crowded trade policy agenda to think about.

Clip-Dr. Al Mussell-Agri-Food Economic Systems:
If there's any doubt whether Mr. Trump was prepared to act on some of the items that he campaigned on in the U.S. Presidential Campaign, we're finding out pretty quickly that indeed he is and some of these things are of critical significance to Canada.
On one front we're looking at the prospect of trade disputes and trade actions initiated by the United States against probably multiple countries but we worry that some of them may be directed at us and involve agriculture and food.
Secondly we have the issue of potentially or it seems almost certain at this point a desire on behalf of the United States to renegotiate NAFTA in some way.
Then there's this issue of a border tax and I think every time I hear about the border tax it has a different percentage associated with it and variously would apply to everything or only the imports that are viewed by some as being injurious to the United States etcetera so that's a very broad range and diversity of issues, and almost all new.

Dr. Mussell suggests this is a very difficult situation for the Canadian government.
He says it's entirely possible that part of the strategy is to advance so many trade issues that it will overwhelm our capacity to react, weakening our ability to effectively defend ourselves or adjudicate the case.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.


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