Resetting the agri-food trade agenda
By Agri-Food Economic SystemsFeatures Business & Policy Trade Business/Policy Canada Success in Agriculture
An Independent Agri-Food Policy Note explores the expanding trade policy agenda now facing Canadian agri-food as the trade agenda of the Trump Administration becomes evident.
Jan. 25, 2017- An Independent Agri-Food Policy Note released today by Agri-Food Economic Systems explores the expanding trade policy agenda now facing Canadian agri-food as the trade agenda of the Trump Administration and other factors become evident.
“Not that long ago we thought the major sources of uncertainty dogging Canadian agri-food trade had been resolved”, says Al Mussell, Agri-Food Economic Systems research lead and co-author of the policy note. “That is quickly being proved wrong. We had not expected US trade policy to turn protectionist, and in the interim a number of other major trade issues have arisen”.
The policy note takes stock of the range of developments in US trade policy under the new Trump Administration, the implications and alternatives for Canadian agri-food, and the consequent demands on trade and domestic agricultural policy. It highlights both bilateral shifts and multilateral issues that will reshape domestic and trade policy and require Canadian attention.
“We face a problem of breadth and depth”, says Douglas Hedley, Agri-Food Economic Systems associate and co-author of the policy note. “The sheer number of prospective trade complaints and defensive actions coming from the US could swamp our capacity to effectively analyze and mount a successful defense; this may be a strategy of the new US administration”.
Mussell says, “a retrenchment of the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, potential renegotiation of NAFTA, a prospective US border tax, and US trade complaints raised against Canada will drive Canada to consider alternative markets. This puts more pressure on CETA and prospective new trade agreements with Japan, China, and perhaps others to provide markets for our agri-food products. It will also require alignment between domestic agricultural policy and this new trade environment”.
“At the same time, a WTO Ministerial meeting is scheduled for later this year, in which domestic support for agriculture is likely to be a key element,” Hedley adds. Canada will be pressed to advance its agenda for reduced agricultural support globally and to deal with its own sensitivities. This will further draw upon our trade policy capacity”.
The Independent Agri-Food Policy Note can be accessed at www.agrifoodecon.ca.
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