Farmscape for February 10, 2017
The research Lead with Agri-Food Economic Systems says, given the dramatic change in U.S. trade policy, the Canadian government will need to reformulate its approach to international trade.
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, observes in addition to the planned renegotiation of NAFTA the U.S. is now considering a border tax on imported products and several trade actions.
Clip-Dr. Al Mussell-Agri-Food Economic Systems:
It's yet to be seen but it's entirely possible that part of the strategy here is simply to, almost call it helter skelter, it's bringing so many issues to the front so it's the trade disputes that we know about or have a suspicion of, so that's the wine retailing in B.C., that's dairy, that is softwood lumber, there seems to be some likelihood of a dispute of some sort or other on automotive and origin content of a automotive parts as well as the NAFTA renegotiation and the possibility of this border tax.
For the Canadian government, we only have so much capacity to be able to participate in these things effectively.
I use the metaphor of helter skelter.
Helter skelter, you just throw so many things at them that they have limited capacity to react.
Perhaps the intent here is that, if they do enough of this, they'll force us to settle some of the disputes or that they just simply weaken our ability to effectively defend ourselves or adjudicate the case and the U.S. can score a win against us on that basis alone.
Dr. Mussell notes, in addition to its dealings with the United States, Canada is still addressing the technical side of the CETA agreement with the EU and planning for a WTO ministerial meeting late this year so the worry is its capacity will simply get exhausted.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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