Statement by Premier Ford on USMCA Trade Agreement

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In the last week or so you have seen deals put in place or agreements put in place that preserve zero tariff access to three of US pork's top five export markets, so a bit of a momentum shift and that's really good news for USA pork producers. "But based on reports, I am pleased that the deal includes a provision I pushed for to eliminate an unfair milk pricing system that has hurt NY dairy farmers' ability to export to Canada".

The United States and Canada forged a last-gasp deal on Sunday to salvage NAFTA as a trilateral pact with Mexico, rescuing the three-country, $1.2 trillion open-trade zone that had been about to collapse after almost a quarter-century. It will still put tariffs on dairy products that exceed the quotas, ranging from 200% to 300%.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he felt it was necessary to allow certain concessions to gain a favourable agreement, and dairy was one of them.

"The price of milk, the price of product, there has been no movement on this news", he said.

The Canadian dairy market produced roughly 17% of what the United States did each year over the past three years, according to U.S. government data. He said it will protect Canada from an unfair American tariffs.

Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte says the agreement is welcomed "with opened arms".

While understanding the deal is still preliminary, Canadian dairy farmers will still feel the pinch from losing more market access, said a Dairy Farmer of Ontario representative. They were still reviewing the text to better understand the impact.

A major concern remains with the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump when NAFTA negotiations stalled in May.

"Mexico is our largest apple export market, it's our largest pear market". NAFTA had a couple of dispute resolution mechanisms, one of which Canada wanted to keep, and another that many would be happy to see the end of. It will also eliminate its tariffs on whey and margarine.

"We've been sacrificed", he said in an interview.

As the clock approached midnight Sunday, word began to spread that Canada was ready to sign on the dotted line of the new trade agreement with the USA and Mexico.

Dairy farmers on the Island and across Canada feel as if they were thrown under the bus when the country signed on to a new free-trade deal with the US and Mexico. "We've been able to come to an agreement that creates more stability and a greater level of confidence in the business community, confidence in making investments in Canada and as well investments in the other North American economies". "I can certainly see the Canadian dairy farmers' side of this".

Letting more American dairy products flood the Canadian market could also affect the consumer as well. "They told me they felt they have continued to give through a number of trade deals we have signed and they are right", Trudeau said after the meeting.

Trump has approved the deal with Canada, a source familiar with the decision said.

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