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Rick Worthington Missed Opportunity in USMCA
by Rick Worthington, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: October 18, 2018

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Missed Opportunity in USMCA

A think tank says the United States' new trade deal to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement is a missed opportunity, especially for small scale dairy farmers.

President Donald Trump maintains the USMCA is a win for dairy farmers because it opens up part of Canada's market to exports.

But Karen Hansen-Kuhn with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, is skeptical the agreement will make a big difference for the industry, which is facing a crisis of overproduction and low prices.

She says the Canadian market as a whole is small – about the size of Wisconsin's output.

"And we're not talking about opening up the entire market,” she points out. “What they achieved under USMCA is opening up about 3.6 percent of that market to U.S. exports.

“So honestly, the impact on U.S. agriculture, U.S. dairy farmers will be minimal."

The Canadian dairy industry does not like the potential agreement when it comes to its sector.

Hansen-Kuhn says this deal will hurt dairy farmers in Canada, which has a supply management program designed to support small family farmers.

The potential agreement is not a done deal. The leader of each country needs to approve the deal. Then, each country’s government needs to ratify it.

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