On the Road to Ratification of the New NAFTA

The new version of NAFTA has received the agreement of the three member countries, Canada, Mexico and the United States. The news was confirmed Tuesday morning by both Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

Negotiations for a renewal of NAFTA came from Washington the day after the election for President of Republican Donald Trump. They lasted almost a year and strained economic relations between the United States and Canada with the establishment of several tariffs on the importation of products from both sides.

The balance sheet for Canada is mixed, according to analysts. It is certainly negative for the agricultural sector, which makes concessions in supply management. It yields 3.59% of the dairy product market in addition to dropping diafiltered products. The latter category was created to prevent the importation of milk by-products from the United States. The poultry, egg and turkey markets, all under supply management, are also losing market share to American products.

The new agreement, on the other hand, retains the system for settling trade disputes on countervailing and anti-dumping duties, called Chapter 19.

The Liberal Party made a commitment during the last election to no longer make concessions in the dairy sector, which is not the case for the poultry sector. Dairy farmers have also started to receive compensation payments for lost market share.

The president of the UPA, Marcel Groleau, made various requests before the organization’s congress in early December in connection with trade between countries. He would like governments to review import standards, whether for fattening calves or raw milk cheeses, in connection with the new trade agreement with Europe. Canadian standards are not applied to imported products, while European standards are in effect for those sold in Europe.