BC’s Premier likes Canada’s new trade deal with the US and Mexico, other than its impact on the dairy and wine industries.
John Horgan says the USMCA provides important stability for business and the economy.
He’s pleased the independent dispute-resolution system will remain, as it allows BC to challenge U-S tariffs on Canadian softwood and other exports.
The deal requires BC get rid of its law banning international wines from eligible grocery stores by November 2019, but Horgan says they will work to resolve that in a way that best protects BC’s wine industry.
“BC worked closely with the federal government and agreed to amend the measures relating to wine in grocery stores,” says Horgan. “This policy has been controversial for some time. We knew this was a problem that we were going to have to fix. We will continue to work with the Canadian government to resolve it in a manner that best protects our wine industry.”
Horgan says BC is also concerned about the possible impacts on the nearly 8,000 people working in BC’s dairy industry.
Canadian dairy farmers say they are disappointed — but not devastated — by the new trade deal between Canada, the US and Mexico.
Henry Bremer, president of the Kamloops-Okanagan Dairy Association, it will allow about 3 percent more dairy imports, upping that total to around 15 percent.
“It seems like every time there is a trade agreement, we keep giving up market share, and that is extremely frustrating to us,” he tells Beach Radio News.
Bremer says some, but not all, of the imported items will come from the U-S.
“Out of CETA (Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) would be the European trade deal, so that would be cheese primarily.”
He doesn’t think it will have much impact on prices.
“I’m not sure if it’ll drive the price down. Our prices has been dropping at our end for the last few years already. It’s not really reflective of what the consumer would see in the market place.”
Bremer says the Canadian system pools all the milk, depending on its use, and ends up with a pooled price.
Bremer’s association represents about 80 dairy farms in the North Okanagan, Shuswap and Kamloops areas.