* Canada uses supply controls to help poultry, dairy farmers
* US producers see 2nd chance in Trans-Pacific Partnership
By Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON, Sept 24 The United States must fix
mistakes it made in the North American Free Trade Agreement by
insisting in new trade talks with Canada on unrestricted access
to that country's poultry and dairy market, U.S. agricultural
groups said on Monday.
"All we're asking is that we have an open and free fair
trade shot at the border," Bill Roenigk, senior vice president
at the National Chicken Council, said at a hearing conducted by
the U.S. Trade Representative's office on the proposed
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact.
Canada's Conservative government, sensitive to sentiment in
vote-rich Eastern Canada, has long said it will maintain
supply-management measures for dairy, poultry and egg farmers.
These measures largely entail matching production to domestic
demand and levying high tariffs to discourage imports.
However, the government has also said all goods are subject
to negotiation, both in talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
among 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and in free-trade
discussions with the European Union.
Four-fifths of Canada's 13,200 dairy farmers live in Ontario
and Quebec, populous provinces that are generally critical to
Roenigk said U.S. producers thought NAFTA, which went into
force in January 1994, would eliminate tariffs on U.S. poultry
exports to Canada and were shocked when Ottawa, as well as a
NAFTA dispute settlement panel, took the opposite view.
Now that the United States has a second chance to address
Canada's poultry tariffs, the U.S. industry's "view on this is
the old Irish proverb: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me
twice, shame on me," Roenigk said in his prepared remarks.
"The U.S. poultry industry strongly opposes Canada's
participation in the TPP unless Canada expressly commits to
removing all border restrictions on poultry imports from the
United States," he said.
Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president at the National Milk
Producers Federation, said U.S. dairy producers were also
disappointed NAFTA did not open up Canada's market and were
determined not to let that happen again.
The United States must seize this opportunity to "finally
negotiate an opening of the Canadian dairy market to all US
dairy products without restriction," Castaneda said.
Both Castaneda and Roenigk said Canada could become a big
market for the U.S. producers if tariffs were removed.
Canada and Mexico are the latest countries to join the
negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
The United States, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru,
Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have already been
negotiating the deal for 30 months.
A final deal is not expected until mid- to late-2013.