Canada’ free trade agreement with the USA and Mexico, NAFTA, has not helped farmers. The NFU opposed NAFTA when it was first negotiated, as it was done in secret without consultation with the Canadian public. When the USA announced it would re-open NAFTA, the NFU looked at a range of key indicators to see whether farmers are better off now than they were before the Free Trade Agreement with the USA. See the NFU NAFTA FACT SHEET.
When the original NAFTA deal was concluded, it limited the scope of our Supply Management system to what it covered at that time. When the US undertook to renegotiate NAFTA, our Supply Management became a target. The NFU has strongly defended our system, and has done outreach to American dairy farmers who are suffering under the American export-oriented system. It is clear that access to Canada’s dairy market will not solve US dairy farmers’ problems, but would be devastating to Canada’s dairy farmers and rural communities, while compromising the quality of dairy products for Canadian consumers.
The US has also targeted Canada’s grain grading system in NAFTA re-negotiations. See our backgrounder, NAFTA renegotiation provides opening for renewed US attack on Canadian wheat grading framework.
The NFU has joined in a tri-national statement of solidarity with people’s organizations across Canada, in the USA and Mexico to call for trade agreements that support food sovereignty, labour rights, ecology and democracy. The NFU is a member of the Trade Justice Network in Canada.
Recent NAFTA campaign activity
North American Groups call on Canada to stand up to Washington on NAFTA
North American organizations call on the Canadian government to stand up to Washington’s bullying on NAFTA, and to strike a fair trade deal