National | Media Release

NFU urges Canada not to sign new NAFTA in its present form

(Saskatoon) – Today the National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland urging them not to sign the new NAFTA agreement in its present form.

“It has recently come to light that the published text – which is available only on the US Trade Representatives website and in English — contains clauses regarding dairy tariff-setting authority that differ from what Canadian negotiators agreed upon,” noted Katie Ward, NFU President. “The fact that the negotiated final text either does not exist or has not been made public is reason enough to cancel the planned signing ceremony.”

“The new NAFTA, or United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA) would severely damage our supply management system, which is the envy of struggling dairy farmers in the United States and around the world,” noted Cam Goff, NFU 1st Vice President (Policy). “The agreement would also compromise the quality control system that is the foundation of the Canada’s international reputation for premium quality grain exports, and it would allow undue corporate influence over our seed registration system. With the USMCA’s ongoing renegotiation process starting in year six, we may well see an acceleration of the destruction of our supply management, grain grading and seed registration system.”

NFU Trade Committee Chair, Terry Boehm pointed out that the USMCA text also contains a very disturbing paragraph that commits Canada to work with the USA and Mexico at the WTO to undermine agriculture programs in other countries. Article 3.3: International Cooperation says “The Parties shall work together in the World Trade Organization to promote increased transparency and to improve and further develop multilateral disciplines on the three pillars of agricultural trade (domestic support, export competition and market access) with the objective of substantial progressive reductions in agriculture support and protection resulting in fundamental reform.”

“Article 3.3 indicates that by signing the USMCA, Canada will attack other countries’ domestic programs in pursuit of fundamental reform that puts markets and competition before livelihoods and community,” said Boehm. “By any name, the USMCA or the new NAFTA, this agreement should not be signed.”

– 30 –

For more information:

Katie Ward, NFU President: (613) 797-0601
Cam Goff, NFU 1st Vice President, Policy: (306) 222-3514
Terry Boehm, Chair, NFU Trade Committee: (306) 255-7638

See also USMCA on this Website

Read the NFU’s letter to Prime Minister Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Freeland

Back to Top