October 16, 2017, Arlington, United States - The United States has requested a complete end to Canada's supply management system for dairy, poultry, eggs and turkey within a decade, touching on one of the most politically explosive trade issues in Canada.

Two sources tell The Canadian Press the request came at the NAFTA talks on Sunday evening, catching some on the Canadian side off-guard, since they hadn't expected the highly contentious demand to come during the current round.

The issue's arrival now means American demands have landed in virtually all the most contentious areas at the soon-to-conclude round of talks outside Washington: in auto parts, Buy American and dispute-resolution systems, the U.S. has taken an extremely aggressive stance.

One source says the supply-management request came with an initial phase-in period of five per cent more market access per year, leading to total duty-free, quota-free trade in the protected supply-managed areas within 10 years.

``Outrageous,'' said Pierre Lampron, president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

``It would be the end of supply management.... We are not surprised by the U.S. demands, they are in line with the demands they have made in other sectors.''

The Canadian government, meanwhile, is calling the idea a non-starter.

The federal Liberal government had said entering the talks it did not want to even discuss supply management. It has promised to maintain the protected system for supply-managed products, arguing that the U.S. maintains numerous support programs to prop up its farmers.

The U.S. has now tabled a series of positions far outside the realm of what Canada says it's prepared to negotiate. The yawning gaps in positions have raised questions about whether a deal is attainable.

Already there's talk that the goal of a deal by year's end may be slipping away.

The U.S. has introduced aggressive demands in virtually every major area:

  • Auto parts. The U.S. wants all cars to comprise 50 per cent U.S. content to avoid a tariff. The U.S. has requested this policy be phased in within one year _ which automakers call impossible.
  • Dispute-resolution. The U.S. wants to gut the enforcement systems of NAFTA, making the panels for Chapter 11, 19 and 20 disputes either non-binding, or voluntary.
  • Buy American. The U.S. wants to severely curb other countries' access to public works contracts.
  • Sunset clause. The U.S. has requested a termination clause that would end NAFTA after five years, unless all parties agree to extend the agreement.
  • Dairy. The supply management request follows an earlier request for a de-facto veto over Canadian milk-classification decisions, which in the case of diafiltered cheese-making products has advantaged Canadian producers.
October 5, 2017, Washington - American negotiators are expected to present their dairy and poultry sector demands during the next round of NAFTA talks, which begin in Washington next week.

The U.S. will be looking for increased access to Canada's dairy and poultry markets, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

"Obviously we need to keep these markets open," Perdue told a public forum organized by the Washington International Trade Association.

"We're going to lay some things on the table in this next round."

September 25, 2017, Ottawa – Canada is ready to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement, but supply management will be protected, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said Monday.

''We're quite ready to defend a system that works so well for this country, so well for the dairy farms, so well for consumers and (is) a model for the world, I might add,'' MacAulay said as he left a meeting with Canadian farmers.

MacAulay met representatives from the agricultural industry – including wine, dairy, pork and beef – during the third round of talks with the U.S. and Mexico to replace the 23-year-old trade deal.

The minister said his defence of the system that protects Canadian dairy, eggs and poultry does not mean there is nothing about the trade deal that needs changing.

''The U.S. realizes we are their friends, but there's things to iron out and hopefully it will iron out in a very positive way and even make the deal better.''

Some of the thornier issues expected to come up in NAFTA talks involve the Canadian agricultural industry, especially since the U.S. wants greater access for its dairy products.

On Sunday, Canada's chief negotiator said he did not expect to see any details from the U.S. on its desire to end the supply management system for dairy and poultry this time around.

Steve Verheul also said he did not expect the U.S., which triggered the renegotiation of the continental trade pact, to table detailed proposals during this round of talks on two other hot topics – investor state dispute settlement process and American content requirements for vehicles.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada respects the pace of the negotiations.

''But Canada is always there, has done its homework, we have concrete proposals on the table and we're very pleased to have a chance to discuss them with our counterparts from the other countries,'' he said at an event in Toronto.

The dairy sector was excluded from the original NAFTA deal in 1994, but the supply management system, which limits the amount of dairy that can be imported into Canada without high tariffs, has long been a point of contention.

A more recent dairy-related issue that also came up was a deal reached by the 12,000 dairy producers in Canada to sell milk proteins to domestic processors at a discount in order to further protect the industry from imports of cheap U.S. milk ingredients.

Jacques Lefebvre, president and CEO of the Dairy Processors Association of Canada, said his organization has told the Liberal government they do not think the sector should be part of the renegotiation of NAFTA at all.

''If the government can make a good case as to why it should be, then we need to ensure that any concessions to the sector, to the dairy market in Canada, is met with an equal net benefit to the sector,'' said Lefebvre, who was at the meeting with MacAulay.

As the meeting opened, the Liberal government said it is committed to boosting food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

Conservative MP Erin O'Toole acknowledged Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland mentioned protecting supply management in her speech outlining her broad NAFTA objectives last month, but he would like to know more.

''We've since not seen the government ... set the table ahead of negotiations to show how that industry and the thousands of families that rely on it must be safeguarded in negotiations,'' O'Toole said.

O'Toole said he would also like to see the Liberal government be clear in its goals for other areas too – especially when it comes to protecting and creating jobs in the auto, softwood lumber and resource sectors.
August 25, 2017 - Dairy may be getting all the attention in the upcoming NAFTA negotiations, but the chicken, egg and turkey boards aren’t letting their guard down as talks begin in mid-August.

“The government has been clear in its support for supply management and we are confident it will continue to support and protect supply management during the negotiations while finding a way to work with the United States,” said Yves Ruel, manager of trade and policy for Chicken Farmers of Canada. “It has been done before successfully and we believe it will be done again.”

The Canadian chicken sector believes the reason it’s not in the spotlight is that the existing NAFTA arrangement has provided stability and predictability to chicken producers on both sides of the border. READ MORE
August 17, 2016, Ottawa, Ont. - The Government of Canada is listening to Canadians from across the country and from all sectors and backgrounds about trade. This includes conversations with the provinces and territories, industry, unions, civil society, think tanks, academics, Indigenous peoples, women, youth and the general public.

"We recognize that trade policies need to respond and contribute meaningfully to Canadians’ economic, social, and environmental priorities. This is a key element of the Progressive Trade Agenda, which supports the Canadian middle class and those working hard to join it," read a Government of Canada press release. 

"NAFTA's track record is one of economic growth and middle class job creation in Canada and across North America. As we prepare for discussions with the United States and Mexico on the renegotiation of NAFTA, we are seeking your views. Are there areas of the agreement that could be clarified? Are there parts that should be updated? Are there any new sections that should be part of a modernized agreement?"

For more information and to submit your views on NAFTA, visit:
August 16, 2017, United Kingdom - The UK should not accept imports of chlorinated chickens as part of any future trade deal with the U.S., Michael Gove has said.

The environment secretary told the BBC that the UK would not "compromise" on or "dilute" its animal welfare standards in the interests of trade.

The EU currently bans chlorine-washed chickens on welfare grounds.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has questioned this but downplayed the potential for UK-US disagreement.

It will be up to the UK to decide whether to retain the ban once it leaves the EU in March 2019.

Labour said the government's "casual and inconsistent" approach risked undermining British farmers.

On a visit to Washington, Fox said chlorinated chicken was just one detail in one sector that would only be addressed at the end of discussions about a free trade deal - which are likely to be years away.

He has suggested there are no food safety issues regarding chlorine-washed chickens, a view shared by many UK experts. READ MORE
With a new president in office in the United States, the Canadian agriculture industry and many other sectors are keeping a close eye on trade agreement developments. In general, Turkey Farmers of Canada chair Mark Davies notes, “There’s a lot of uncertainty in the farm community about trade agreements, and not just with supply managed commodities.

With unease brewing, we asked industry leaders to weigh in with some insights.

First, there’s the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) held between the European Union and Canada. This pact will be fully implemented over the next six years, but while it affects dairy and other agricultural products, it does not have a direct impact on eggs, turkey or chicken.

The U.S. withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement in January, putting ratification among the remaining 11 nations in flux. As to whether or not Canada will be pursuing completion of the deal, Global Affairs Canada says, “Canada is open to opportunities that would strengthen free trade within the Asia-Pacific and advance our economic interests in the region.”

Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors Council (CPEPC) president Robin Horel says his association would not be opposed to Canada pursuing ratification of a TPP deal.

“Although we were not pleased with the significant amount of additional access to the Canadian market for broiler chicken, table eggs, turkey and broiler hatching eggs that the Canadian negotiators gave up when they negotiated the TPP, we understood that they made the best deal they could, taking into account the additional access they were able to negotiate for other Canadian products, particularly other Canadian agricultural products…CPEPC went on record as supporting the TPP deal that was struck,” Horel says.

He adds that even though the domestic market access commitments were significant under the current TPP, “we believed that certainty for our industry would be good for investment and growth. Having said that, if TPP does not get renegotiated, those additional market access commitments go away and that is a benefit to our supply managed poultry and egg industries.”

However, Horel notes that if other Canadian industries could benefit from a renegotiated TPP deal, CPEPC would not be opposed, but rather expect fewer market access concessions than the current version.

“Frankly, I would have expected virtually all of the increased imports to come from the U.S., given their proximity to our market, their cost structure and our working relationship with them,” he adds. “If a new TPP is negotiated without the U.S., and if there are some market access concessions given for Canadian poultry and egg products, I am unsure which of the TPP countries would be able to supply.”

Davies does not see the current TPP terms as positive for turkey producers.

“Over the full implementation period of 18 to 19 years, as it stands the TPP allows for a 71 per cent increase in import access, the current equivalent of four million kilograms or $271 million, with a Canadian farm output loss of 4.5 per cent,” Davies says.   

According to the executive director of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Mike Dungate, the TPP, as it reads now, would allow access to 2.1 per cent of Canada’s chicken market, which would have provided certainty for Canada’s chicken industry over a long period. But, he adds, without the U.S., the chicken aspect will have to be renegotiated.

Finally, there’s the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which took effect in 1993. In early March, U.S. commerce secretary Wilbur Ross announced negotiations on changes and additions to NAFTA would start later this year.

Ross stated in a Bloomberg News interview that Mexico and Canada “know they’re going to have to make concessions. The only question is what’s the magnitude and what’s the form of the concessions.” He says items were missed in the original agreement, others handled incorrectly, and that “several chapters need to be added because of the digital economy and other things that have developed subsequently.”

Horel calls NAFTA renegotiations a big unknown. “I expect there will be a number of pundits that will express their thoughts about renegotiating NAFTA being an opportunity to dismantle supply management,” he says. He wonders if Canadian negotiators will believe there is something to be gained in other sectors by giving increased access to our poultry market to the U.S.

Horel also does not see a lot of opportunity for export gain in NAFTA renegotiations. “Certainly, the U.S. is a low cost producer and among the world leaders in exports of poultry and egg products. There could be some niche market gains in Mexico,” Horel adds.

Access for American chicken to the Canadian market under NAFTA is based on the previous year’s production level in Canada. This being the case, access is always increasing.

“The balance of trade is already in the favour of the U.S., so we would push back hard on any suggested tweaks,” Dungate says. “Mexico is the largest U.S. chicken export market and Canada is third. We mostly import high-value items like breast meat and wings. We have respected NAFTA from the start and have never tried to block U.S. access or any other access to our market, so it’s tiring to hear the constant myth that we block imports to drive prices up. There is an overall perception that supply management equals a closed market, but it equals a predictable market. Globally, only about 10 per cent of the world’s chicken production is traded. We are the thirteenth-largest importer of chicken in the world.”

Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) explains the volume of eggs imported into Canada is managed by Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs), which limit imports to a predetermined volume, keeping them predictable. Current TRQs for NAFTA are almost three per cent of each previous year’s domestic production. For the TPP as written, it’s 19 million dozen eggs per year phased in over the 18-year implementation period, and for the World Trade Organization it’s 21.37 million dozen eggs per year.

“We continue to monitor the status of trade negotiations closely,” says Rowan Weerdenburg, EFC communications officer.

It’s expected that all other commodity groups will be watching as well. “Market access is always a concern,” Davies says. “We are not against trade. Canada is a trading nation, but we want supply management maintained.”
August 14, 2017, Washington - Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland released Canada's list of key demands for a new North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as talks get set to begin in Washington.

Freeland's list, which is much shorter than the U.S. wish list of more than 100 items, includes:

  • Protect Canada's supply-management system for dairy and poultry. Canada does not have free trade in these areas, and regulates imports and prices.
  • A new chapter on labour standards. The original NAFTA included a labour section as an addendum, inserted into the agreement after Bill Clinton was elected and insisted on a few changes. Some officials in Canada and the U.S. have identified a goal of tougher labour rules: Increasing Mexican wages, to make auto plants in the other countries more affordable.
  • A new chapter on environmental standards. This was also added as an afterthought to the original NAFTA, placed there after Clinton's election. Freeland says she wants a chapter that ensures no country can weaken environmental protection to attract investment. She also says it should support efforts against climate change.
  • A new chapter on gender rights.
  • A new chapter on Indigenous rights.
  • Reforms to the investor-state dispute settlement process. Specifically, Freeland referred to Chapter 11, which involves companies suing governments. She said she wants reforms so that ''governments have an unassailable right to regulate in the public interest.'' This is not to be confused with Chapter 19, which regulates disputes between companies over dumping, in cases like softwood lumber, and which the U.S. administration might seek to eliminate.
  • Expand procurement. For years, Canada has wanted to kill Buy American rules for construction projects at the state and local level. It could be a tough sell. U.S. lawmakers are demanding even more Buy American rules, which is something President Donald Trump campaigned on. Freeland said: ''Local-content provisions for major government contracts are political junk food: superficially appetizing, but unhealthy in the long run.''
  • Freer movement of professionals. NAFTA includes a list of professions where people can easily get a visa to work across the border. It's an old list, it mentions land surveyors and range conservationists, but not computer programmers. International companies want this list expanded to make it easier for employees to move between offices.
  • Protect cultural exemptions. Canada insisted on protections in the old agreement for cultural industries, like publishing and broadcasting. The U.S.'s annual report on international trade barriers lists this as an irritant.
  • Maintaining a process to regulate anti-dumping and countervailing disputes, like the one over softwood lumber. Freeland noted that Canada briefly walked out of the original talks in 1987, as this was a deal-breaker. The U.S. says it now wants to get rid of the resulting Chapter 19. Some observers say it might simply be modified.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found "systemic" inspection and sanitation problems during its most recent audit of Canada's meat, poultry and egg inspection systems, issues American officials say "raise significant questions about the Canadian system."

The most "significant" concern, U.S. auditors said, was that Canadian government plant inspectors were not checking for residual feces and digestive waste materials on each carcass in slaughterhouses prior to export.

July 18, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - A significant volume of dairy, poultry, eggs and beef was imported into Canada without a permit or paying the appropriate customs duties, hurting both the federal treasury and farmers, says Auditor General Michael Ferguson in his spring report to Parliament.

Analyzing figures from Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian Border Services Agency found “authorizations, certificates, and permits for those items that were on the Import Control List... did not match the volumes authorized for importing annually with the volumes that importers declared to the agency as eligible for a lower rate of duty,” Ferguson said.

The report estimates that $168 million in duties were not collected on $131 million worth of chicken, turkey, beef, eggs, and dairy products, meaning that seven to eight per cent were therefore imported without the appropriate permits.

Dairy had the biggest hit with $81 million in unassessed customs duties and $32 million of product entering the country without permits. Chicken was next with $50 million in unassessed duties and $20 million in products without permits. For turkey the figures $15 million and $9 million, beef $11 million and $41 million and eggs $11 million and $29 million. READ MORE
July 12, 2017 - Meat-importing countries from North America to Europe and Asia have tightened inspection standards for shipments from Brazil in a bid to protect consumers, following a probe into possible corruption involving inspectors.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said that the tighter inspection standards it enacted in April have resulted in checks on nearly every shipment from Brazil.

"The new Canadian protocols involve full inspection - including tests for pathogens and chemical residues - of all Brazilian meat imports on five consecutive shipments from each approved plant and for each product category," CFIA spokeswoman Maria Kubacki said.

Previously, CFIA conducted one full inspection randomly out of 10 consecutive shipments from each Brazilian plant.

The tougher reviews highlight concerns about the safety of Brazilian meat even among countries that still accept its products. The United States last week banned imports of fresh Brazilian beef after a high percentage of shipments failed safety checks.

Brazilian police raided the premises of global meatpacking companies JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) in March, as well as dozens of smaller rivals, over suspected bribery of health officials.

Since then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has re-inspected shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat food products from Brazil and tested them for pathogens. All beef trimmings are now tested for salmonella and E. coli.

The checks have uncovered problems in fresh beef, including abscesses, blood clots, bones and lymphoid tissue, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service Re-inspections at U.S. ports are directed by a centralized computer database that stores past inspection results from each foreign establishment. Better-performing foreign plants are subject to less frequent re-inspections, according to the USDA.

To meet the stiffer inspection requirements from importers, Brazil has raised its own standards for meat exported from the country.

"Meat-processing plants in Brazil are now blocked from shipping the front part of a cow as a whole piece, and must instead process it into cuts, a step that makes it easier to detect defects but adds cost for packers," Luis Rangel, Brazil's plant and animal health secretary, said in an interview.

“We had to raise the bar because of the United States, and ... you do not raise the bar for only one export market, you raise it for all of them," Rangel said. "Processing costs will rise, but that is necessary to preserve the markets."

Enforcing the higher standards is complicated, however, by a shortage of inspectors in Brazil.

In Europe, authorities now conduct physical checks of all animal-related shipments from Brazil, and perform laboratory tests on 20 percent of them, at the importers' cost, according to a document issued by the Council of the European Union on June 9.

The EU requires Brazil to conduct microbiological checks on poultry and other meats before they are shipped.

Hong Kong has since March boosted surveillance on Brazil's meat and poultry, including sampling for meat deterioration and other food safety concerns, a spokesman for Hong Kong's Center for Food Safety said. As of June 23, a total of 369 samples were tested and all were satisfactory, he said.
May 23, 2017, Washington, D.C. - The Trump administration set the clock ticking toward a mid-August start of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Canada and Mexico to try to win better terms for U.S. workers and manufacturers.

With a letter to U.S. lawmakers, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he triggered a 90-day consultation period with Congress, industries and the American public that would allow talks over one of the world's biggest trading blocs to begin by Aug. 16.

Renegotiation of NAFTA was a key campaign promise of U.S. President Donald Trump, who frequently called the 23-year-old trade pact a "disaster" that has drained U.S. factories and well-paid manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Trump has pledged to use the NAFTA talks to shrink goods trade deficits that stood at $63 billion with Mexico and $11 billion with Canada last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Lighthizer told reporters NAFTA has been successful for U.S. agriculture, investment services and the energy sector, but not for manufacturing. He added that he hopes to complete negotiations by the end of 2017.

"As a starting point for negotiations, we should build on what has worked in NAFTA and change and improve what has not," Lighthizer said in a conference call with reporters. "If renegotiations result in a fairer deal for American workers there is value in making the transition to a modernized NAFTA as seamless as possible."

In his letter to congressional leaders, Lighthizer said NAFTA needs modernization for provisions on digital trade, intellectual property rights, labor and environmental standards, regulatory practices, rules for state-owned enterprises and food safety standards.

The Obama administration attempted to address many of these deficiencies in the 2015 Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which included Canada and Mexico, but Trump pulled out of TPP in one of his first official acts as president.

Canada and Mexico both welcomed the U.S. move to launch a NAFTA revamp.

Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray, speaking at a news conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington, said the trade pact needed updating after nearly 25 years.

"The world has changed, we've learned a lot and we can make it better," he said.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was "steadfastly committed to free trade in the North American region," noting that 9 million U.S. jobs depend on trade and investment with Canada.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Thomas Donohue urged U.S. officials to "do no harm" to businesses that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico and to move quickly on a new trilateral deal.

As the administration took its first formal step toward NAFTA renegotiations, the U.S. Commerce Department launched an investigation on Thursday into Boeing Co's (BA.N) anti-dumping claims against Canadian rival Bombardier's (BBDb.TO) new CSeries jetliners, drawing a threat from Canada to review a deal to buy Boeing fighter jets.

Lighthizer's letter is less detailed than a draft sent to lawmakers in March, which listed as objectives tax equality and the ability to reimpose tariffs if Mexican and Canadian imports pose a serious injury threat to U.S. industry.

Trump late in April had considered a full withdrawal from NAFTA, but was persuaded by senior officials in his administration to pursue negotiations instead. Lighthizer said he did not think a new threat to withdraw from NAFTA would be necessary.

"As the president has said, we are going to give renegotiation a good strong shot," Lighthizer told reporters, adding that he believed Canada and Mexico would negotiate in good faith.

He said he hoped to maintain the current trilateral format of NAFTA, but noted that many of NAFTA's problems are bilateral issues that need to be worked out with either Mexico or Canada.

"Our hope is that we can end up with the structure similar to what we have now. If that should prove to be impossible, then we'll move in a different direction."

Asked if the NAFTA talks would seek to resolve trade disputes over imports of Canadian softwood lumber or Mexican sugar, Lighthizer said he hoped those issues would be settled before the NAFTA talks begin under separate negotiations being conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department.

A Canadian source close to the lumber negotiations said it was unlikely an agreement could be reached by mid-August, however.

Lighthizer said he will seek public comment on the NAFTA process and intends to publish negotiating objectives on or about July 16.
May 12, 2017, Ottawa, Ont. - Canada’s farmers and processors need the federal government’s help to navigate the increasingly complex labyrinth of international trade to ensure they have access to the foreign markets they depend on, according to a report released Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

The committee met with over 500 witnesses and other stakeholders from across the country to examine international market access priorities for Canadian farmers and processors — a key contributor to the Canadian economy — to understand the challenges they face when exporting their products and to identify possible solutions to facilitate and encourage international market access.

The committee’s report, Market Access: Giving Canadian Farmers and Processors the World, outlines ways to ensure Canadian products get to shelves around the world.

World-renowned products like Quebec maple syrup, Alberta beef, blueberries from Atlantic Canada, Okanagan and Niagara wines, and canola from the Prairies all reinforce the Canada Brand.

The committee sees the Canada Brand as crucial to positioning Canadian products on the international stage.

The committee makes 18 recommendations in its report, including:
  • That the federal government eliminate non-tariff barriers to trade and pursue free trade agreements with other countries.
  • That all levels of government work together to eliminate interprovincial trade barriers and invest in rail, road and marine infrastructure to guarantee that Canadian producers and processors are able to efficiently transport their products to consumers.
  • That the federal government improve access to infrastructure grants for farmers and food producers who want to invest in new technologies, and that Employment and Social Development Canada and Immigration and Citizenship Canada create programs that help farmers hire foreign workers to address labour shortages.
Adopting the committee’s recommendations will help the government ensure that the Canadian agriculture sector continues to thrive.
May 11, 2017 - According to Reuters, China has lifted a ban on Canadian poultry imports implemented in 2014 following an outbreak of bird flu, its quality watchdog said in a statement on Thursday.

The ban had been in force since December 2014, when Canada reported the detection of H5-type bird flu on two farms in British Columbia.
May 5, 2017, Winnipeg, Man. - U.S. President Donald Trump’s criticism of the protected Canadian dairy system has emboldened U.S. farm groups to tackle other longstanding agriculture irritants, as the countries move toward rewriting trade rules.

U.S. poultry exporters, who include Tyson Foods and Pilgrims Pride Corp., as well as egg sellers, are expected to seek greater access to Canada’s tightly controlled market in renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

The U.S., the world’s second-biggest chicken exporter, will demand market access gains at least equal to those they would have realized under the failed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, industry groups and experts say.

Canada currently allows tariff-free egg imports amounting to 2.98 per cent of Canadian production, and chicken imports worth 7.5 per cent. Imports would have doubled for eggs and jumped by more than one-quarter for chicken under TPP.

Last year, U.S. poultry sales to Canada totalled $509 million, while American egg and egg product exports to Canada amounted to $46 million, according to USAPEEC (all figures US$). READ MORE
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