A fresh trade agreement signed with the US and Mexico this morning has British Columbian dairy farmers concerned for the future.
Under the new United States-Canada-Mexico-Agreement (USMCA), a replacement for NAFTA, the US will have access to 3.6 percent of Canada’s dairy market.
The 3.6 percent represents a 0.35 percent increase over the numbers previously agreed to in the TPP negotiations.
In addition, the new agreement will see the elimination of Canada’s Class 7 pricing strategy, which dairy farmers in BC believe could be a long-term threat to the industry.
The Class 7 pricing strategy was a solution to excess skim milk in the country which eliminated the need for processors to seek American dairy products.
Dairy farmers in BC now believe that the new agreement will keep costs the same, but lower revenue, leading to loss of both income and jobs.