Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) is calling on the federal government to immediately announce the payment schedule and related amounts for the balance of compensation owed for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The group also wants the government to announce a clear timeline and level of compensation in fulfilment of its commitment on the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA), to be granted in the form of direct payments.
“By 2024, as a result of trade concessions, some 18% of our domestic milk production will be outsourced to dairy farmers in other countries at a time when Canadians are more aware than ever of the importance of ensuring our own food security,” said DFC President Pierre Lampron. “By not following through on its commitment, the government is undermining its own dairy sector which seems counterintuitive.”
CETA came into force in 2017, and the CPTPP came into force in 2018.
DFC notes that the commitments from government date back to 2018, and in the case of CETA and CPTPP, funding was announced in the 2019 budget. The groups says right before the 2019 election, the government announced a first installment on the $1.75 billion in compensation for these two agreements, but since then there have been no developments. It adds the government went on to ratify a third trade agreement harming its domestic dairy industry – CUSMA – and no details have been shared as to the amount or the timelines for compensation for that agreement.
“When a dairy farmer makes a commitment, his or her word is gold,” added Lampron. “We hold our federal government to the same standard – a promise made should be a promise kept.”