By on January 29, 2018

Nissan titan assembly Canton Factory

After what could be called some of the least productive negotiations in North American history, some progress is finally being made on the North American Free Trade Agreement. We know, with all of the negative rhetoric being slung from all sides, it sounds impossible. However, all three trading partners are beginning to bend on some of the issues that have proven the trickiest to navigate.

Among them is the faintest glimmer of hope that the automotive content requirements pushed by the United States might be adopted by the other nations, albeit in a modified form.

Still, progress is progress, and it only took about six months to get to a point where some meaningful headway could finally be made. Absolutely incredible. Let’s give these officials a huge round of applause for really getting in there, taking care of business, and not wasting a bunch of time. 

Dave Reichert, the Republican chairman of the House Subcommittee on Trade, told Bloomberg that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer recognizes there is plenty left to do, but seems hopeful. “There’s just an air of optimism. They’re already talking about additional rounds,” he said.

There will be additional rounds, too. When Donald Trump made his initial threats to abandon NAFTA, he gave North America until December to figure out how to save it. That deadline has since extended to March of 2018 and may now progress well past June.

“I’m more optimistic than I was six months ago,” said Bill Pascrell, a Democratic member of the House Ways and Means Committee and one of the lawmakers who flew into Montreal for meetings on the sidelines of primary negotiations. He claims the tone surrounding NAFTA has changed. Instead of a do-or-die scenario, he now claims it’s akin to, “Let’s make this marriage work.”

However, the marriage has been troubled and a major point of contention has been the adjusted regional content requirements for cars proposed by the United States. Both Mexico and Canada have described the U.S. content proposals as “unworkable” in the past. During the last round of talks, Canada suggested “rewriting” how the value of a car is calculated to demonstrate a higher share of local content. While not particularly promising, it’s the first time any country has approached the issue without a take-it-or-leave-it attitude.

“I think it would be premature to say anybody is buying into anything at this point,” said Perrin Beatty, head of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “[Lighthizer and the U.S.] really set the tone and they convey a sense as to whether or not the chemistry is good, and whether or not there are good prospects for reaching an agreement.”

Chief negotiators from the U.S. reaffirmed their commitment to moving forward in all areas of the NAFTA debate in order to conclude negotiations as soon as possible. But most of the headway made thus far has been on the issues that have proven mutually beneficial for all countries. Nobody seems to want to give up any ground, so this newfound optimism could evaporate quickly.

The next round of talks are scheduled for February in Mexico City.

[Image: NAFTA Secretariat]

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46 Comments on “NAFTA Talks Finally Progressing Slightly Better Than a Dumpster Fire...”


  • avatar
    sgtjmack

    I’d rather they take their time and get it right than rush a bunch of crap through, just to be able to get things finished.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Some people have said that what they’ve got now is crap.

      So this is the time to renegotiate the agreement or scrap it altogether in favor of individual trade deals.

      Both Canada and Mexico currently run an overall trade surplus with the US and I would be in favor of scrapping the existing NAFTA, levying import taxes on products entering the US, and negotiating separate deals with Canada and Mexico to see what works best for the US.

      That’s the way it was BEFORE NAFTA was enacted.

      Maybe it’s time to get back to basics. Sometimes what was old is new again, like taxing imports into the US until a happy trade balance is struck.

      A lot of changes to US economic policy are waaaaay over due.

      Maybe Mr Lighthizer can work a little trade magic to the benefit of the US, this go’round.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        The US runs a trade surplus with Canada ($12.5 billion in 2016), not a deficit.

        Before NAFTA was signed, US manufacturing output was half of what it is today – you want to go back to that?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “The US runs a trade surplus with Canada ($12.5 billion in 2016), not a deficit.”

          That’s what your Prime Minister told Trump as well, but some trade elements were not included in that evaluation.

          Of course this is currently being discussed during the re-negotiations, with each country presenting their perspectives and stats.

          If NAFTA can’t be ironed out as a three-some, I would like to see the US get out of NAFTA (like the US got out of TPP and Paris accords) and negotiate separate trade deals with each trading partner.

          That’s the way it was before NAFTA, even though US manufacturing output was half of what it is today — because so many FOREIGN manufacturers had not yet set up plants in the US.

          BTW, the pressure is on to build more cars in the US, like moving assembly out of Mexico and Canada and back to the US.

          More to come before Nov 2018, too. Just in time for the politically silly season.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            Teh Orange now wants back into the TPP.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            “That’s what your Prime Minister told Trump as well, but some trade elements were not included in that evaluation.”

            Really? So what is the US Government view? Let’s see.

            From the US Trade Representative website:

            “The U.S. goods and services trade surplus with Canada was $12.5 billion in 2016.”

            QED

            Keeping the US out of TPP was a huge gift by Trump to China, which rightly saw it as an agreement that would link all of these 12 economies together and forestall the growth of Chinese influence in the region.

            My Prime Minister? As a dual citizen, I have to put up with both of these bozos. But Trump may be about the only person who can make Trudeau look good by comparison.

          • 0 avatar
            BigOldChryslers

            “The US runs a trade surplus with Canada ($12.5 billion in 2016), not a deficit.”

            “That’s what your Prime Minister told Trump as well, but some trade elements were not included in that evaluation.”

            Trump claimed that Canada did not include petroleum and lumber in the numbers, but that was not true. Trump did not include trade in services in his numbers, only goods.

            Canada-US trade is effectively balanced. If there is an imbalance one way or the other, it is so small as a percentage versus the actual amount of trade that it is negligible.

            As Bruce Heyman, former US ambassador to Canada, wrote: “When our trade negotiations devolve into a public he said/he said situation or a disagreement over a deficit or surplus that amounts to less than 3 per cent of total trade we are at an ominous point.”

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “….we are at an ominous point.”

            Yes, we are. Things are changing. President Trump is reshaping America to conform with his vision for America. And that includes ALL trade relations.

            I can see where this would greatly upset some people with a different outlook for America’s future, but that’s why Trump got elected fair and square: to do what his voters wanted him to do.

            He may want to get back into TPP but only on his terms. And that ain’t gonna happen!

            For those who think that the 2017 rate of change for America was erratic and unpredictable, I believe that we’ll see more hyper-activity for 2018.

            I’m looking for some major developments in the US auto industry. Aside from more foreigners setting up shop here and opening/expanding plants, I think we could see some more regulatory rollbacks, dropping of EV tax breaks, and an increase in the gas tax.

            And that’s just for starters. Trump and the GOP simply have to make these changes any which way they can BEFORE the midterm elections possibly change things.

            No. I did not vote for Trump, but if he runs again in 2020 I will vote for him because I like what he has done for me and mine so far.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Scrap. The multilateral nonsense is what makes these trade deals so pointless. Game of Thrones over and over, depending up on the voting and veto powers of various members.

    Polygamy is outlawed for a reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      TW5,
      So, what economic logic lies in your comment?

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        The “economic logic” of bilateral (monogamous) trade is something that escapes you?

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          So, what made America Great?

          Bilateral relationships?

          What made America Great was a multitude of relationships. Terms like Allies and NATO are multilateral relationships.

          Competition is more than just two.

          So, now you believe the US must target easier prey to made a buck??

          Why not compete fairly? Why not have winners on both sides.

          Your Theological paradigms are nothing like economics. Economics is heavily based on maths, its a science and Christian theology is based on fantasy, written eons ago by soothsayers.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            Needless to say, military alliances and trade agreements are not similar in their mechanics or methods. Unfortunately, the Cold War created mass confusion about the differences, and the result is trade agreements that spawn supranational institutions of unelected officials. See: EU.

            Furthermore, bilateral trade is mutually beneficial. If it weren’t, a country would choose not to trade with the US. The straw man argument that the US is looking for easy prey is one of the laziest I’ve ever encountered, and it’s particularly stupid in the modern era. The US is running a massive trade deficit for goods, and many countries put tariffs on US services or ban them out right.

            Clearly, the subject matter surrounding trade agreements far exceeds your intellect, which explains why you classify the underlying science and philosophy as “Christian theology” that is “written by soothsayers”. Of course, I knew we were swimming in waters much too deep for you, and I introduced the metaphor of polygamy to help you understand why multilateral trade rarely benefits all parties involved.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            I don’t know what you are smoking, but political and military alliances are as one.

            Wow, I can’t believe you even believe that.

            Remember, just because you might not like a particular people or country doesn’t mean they are your adveraries. Many, including people and business might have a different view than you.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            Tw5, you’re spouting nonsense.

            “trade agreements that spawn supranational institutions of unelected officials. See: EU”

            From the outset, the Treaty of Rome created an organization intended integrate Europe politically, not just economically. It has always been much more than a trade deal. It has also been remarkably successful in raising European standards of living.

            If trade deals inevitably “spawn supranational institutions of unelected officials”, where is the giant NAFTA bureaucracy? Or Mercosur’s? Even the WTO Secretariat, which manages a trade deal that counts 164 member countries and 22 observers, has barely 600 staff at all levels.

            Your obvious biases blind you to data, such that you simply don’t know what you’re talking about.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So much winning. I can’t stand all this winning.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    Dear California: Thanks for the almonds. Sorry aboot the droot.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    This America First situation will bring it more like America Last.

    To all these people who believe the US will come on top are only spanking their monkeys.

    The “books” must always balance. The problem with the Trump “America can’t compete, so the world must spot us some dollars will backfire.

    So, your competitors are also your customers. What is the likely outcome? America Alone.

    The US should concentrate and work harder at what it does well. Like washing machines and solar panels (which will cost 23k jobs) the US isn’t the best at making all automobiles and parts.

    Leave NAFTA alone.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Al just because Australia has been utterly gutted of their manufacturing to the point of not even having a domestic auto industry, doesn’t mean you should wish the same onto us.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        The underlying arguments are particularly ridiculous considering the size of the US trade deficit, the widening gap between rich and poor as the capital account swells, and the tariffs placed on US goods/services all over the world.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        gtem,
        Manufacturing, like any enterprise must concentrate and exploit your advantages.

        What I read in many comments is “we once upon a time in the US did this better than most”.

        As the US and the world around it evolves there are many previous attributes we had be challenged.

        As for your term “gutted industry in Australia” is an incorrect view.

        What’s occurring is Australia has greatly reduced government in business. Why protect production over consumption as consumption drives production.

        Back to NAFTA and trade. The biggest losers in the US will be agriculture in a trade war, as FTA’s occur globally with the exclusion of the US the US will find it harder to sell its wares. The US already has a massive global footprint. So as your manufacturing becomes less attractive the right industries need to step up and fill the void.

  • avatar
    la834

    I take it you haven’t heard of the new 50% tax on imported washing machines that Whirlpool helped shove into law because, you know, customers preferred washers from Samsung, LG, Electrolux, and Haier (nee GE). But now, protectionism to the rescue! See also 1980s “voluntary import quotas” on Japanese cars, so US manufacturers can continue to sell their Citations, Tempos, and K-cars without too much competition from Accords and Camrys, Civics, and Corollas. Protectionist laws = crappy uncompetitive homemade products because they don’t need to be better when everything else artificially costs more.

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      The status quo, however, brings us crappy, uncompetitive products like the next generation Ford Focus – made in China (!!!). Ford may not realize it (and that goes for several of TTAC’s readers as well, I’m sure…), but it *needs* Trump to intervene and block that moronic decision, which will otherwise forever ruin Ford’s reputation and lead to its bankruptcy.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        That’s an outstanding point… although I don’t think many get it yet.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Asdf,
        How is a Focus made in China any worse than a US made Focus?

        My mother has a Michigan made Focus (she lives in South Jersey) and it is crappy compared to the Thai made Focus we have. My cousin in Paris has a Euro made Focus and its far better than the Michigan made Focus.

        I really think you guys really need to have imports to compete. Without competition you will end up with sh!tty cars. It happened before in the US and the US is still catching up with imported vehicles in quality overall.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      Anecdote: my in laws just spent (I’m guessing) close to $1k to buy a fancy new LG washer with all the touch-screen snazziness and nice sounding chimes, after their previous 5 year old Korean machine started to have some kind of door sensor issue that could not be economically fixed.

      My 15+ year old Newton-Iowa made Maytag dryer (they closed that factory in ’07) that I bought from a used appliance store in a bad part of town started to make some squealing noises last winter. I was able to fully disassemble it in an hour’s time with the most basic of hand tools, find the squeaky bearing, put some lithium grease on it, and button everything back up. Running like new since.

      Give me simple sturdy made in America stuff that I can maintain and use for decades rather than this planned obsolescent junk.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        > Give me simple sturdy made in America stuff that I can maintain and use for decades rather than this planned obsolescent junk.

        Bad news for you: Regardless of where it’s made, new appliances (and pretty much everything else) are going to be designed to a certain price point, with planned obsolescence in mind. IMO, The saying “They don’t make ’em like they used to” was never more appropriate than it is for household appliances.

        We bought our house 11 years ago. The previous owners bought all new Maytag appliances shortly before listing it on the market. I have not been impressed with them. If it wasn’t for the availability of inexpensive aftermarket parts via the internet and my own DIY skills, the fridge, washing machine and microwave would all have been replaced by now. The racks in the dishwasher also rotted out and the replacement set is almost done now too. The racks in my parents’ 30 year old Maytag dishwasher are still original and look fantastic by comparison.

        • 0 avatar
          DougD

          Yup, when my Mom said to me “Surely newer machines are designed better” I said ma, nobody designs anything to be better now, it’s designed to be cheaper.

          You can see Canada positioning itself more towards Europe and China should things go even more sour.

          America First is not a new trade concept by the way, previous administrations just had a nicer glove on the fist.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          BOC I’m afraid you’re right. But I guess it just coincided that the mass shift from long lasting sturdy overbuilt engineering of appliances just seems to dovetail with the mass exodus of factories throughout the 90s and 2000s south of the border or to China. I have countless examples just from my parents’ house that they bought with all the original mid-80s era appliances and Snapper lawnmower, vacuum cleaners, etc.

          I have a coworker that came from the realm of domestic OEM car electronics packaging, he laments the gutting of the circuit board printing/assembly that all moved overseas. There was an example of a rectifier board on an alternator that caused a whole spate of failures, on an alternator design that hadn’t been changed. What had happened is that the OEM outsourced the board production overseas, and the failure analysis showed absolutely comical methods of manufacturer who delivered a product that technically met external specs but was an absolute joke as far as how poorly it was engineered to handle underhood temperatures. Again, a simple and single anecdote, but it seems that they do add up and end up forming my view of things.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        gtem,
        I have a 30 year old Sanyo washing machine … and I still use it.

        This mostalgic view on “sturdy” American products is false and danciful.

        The US created the throw away consumer society.

        Again, misguided paradigms to support poor judgment. How can this approch make America Great?

        Research real information. This will enable you to arrive at a better assessments.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          Big Al, my family likewise has an excellent old Sanyo appliance, a small mini-vacuum that we bought at the downtown Woolworth’s in Ithaca NY when we first immigrated in ’92. It lives on to this day, and was a fantastically engineered little thing, with a crank arm to help agitate built up dust when you’re cleaning the vacuum out. I do get the impression that there perhaps has been decontenting and cheapening and more planned obsolescence across the board, regardless of country of origin. Sanyo was trying to break out and prove themselves against established brand so they made some awesome products. These days, perhaps less so. My folks later had a mid 90s Kenmore vacuum that worked great for 15 years and was handed down to my brother, replaced by a new Chinese Kenmore that burned out its motor brushes literally within one year. We tore it apart and replaced the brushes, but they ultimately bought a $500 German Miele.

          I don’t disagree that the US was the origin of this “throw away” culture of a new thing being cheaper to buy than repairing an old one, or companies promoting more sales by dazzling us with more and more features and styling that made the previous gadget outmoded and “sooo old.” I’d point to iPhones as a prime example of how people have been conditioned to upgrade to the next generation after only a few years of service.

          I maintain that the approach to things like household appliances used to be about more focus on a higher quality, long lasting product, before company leadership re-prioritized maximizing efficiencies (through cheaper labor, cheaper parts) and chasing maximum profit, with the consequence being ultimately a less reliable “throw-away” item.

          You can’t sit there and tell me my own experiences are “false,” I lived them bub. Don’t piss on my shoe and tell me its raining.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      You mean Samsung, LG, Electrolux, and Haier might have to produce their wares here, rather than instructing their governments to buy US dollars to make their exports to the US relatively cheap.

      The humanity. I’m not sure the world will recover from this sort of barbarism.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I really think the “old school Euro type” American protectionist socialists need to think twice about what you wish for.

    If you have not noticed the rest of the world have accelerated bilateral and multilateral trade deals without the US.

    What will occur is when these trade deals are completed the US is further shut out of these markets. I read the Chinese are considering import tariffs on beef or increasing the health regulations for the import of US beef.

    TRi

    There is also talk of the Chinese government telling the populace not the buy US vehicles.

    Most every modern country is in the same position as the US regarding manufacturing. The US can’t say we want X number of manufacturing jobs when they don’t exist as most every country have lost them as well.

    And to the Trump Luddites the majority of those manufacturing jobs have gone the way of robotics.

    Trump is slowly screwing America, like his businesses. What occurred? He used the legal system when he went bankrupt.

    The US is NOT a business, treating it like one, especially using poor business practices like is current will only reduce the US economy.

    Wake up!!! What is the US unemployment rate?

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      2017 Unemployment rates: United States – 4.3%; Australia – 5.59%. Sorry @Big Al From Oz. And, “In January 1925 President Calvin Coolidge—nicknamed “Silent Cal” for his taciturnity—declared, “The chief business of the American people is business.””, which remains true some 93-years later. Keep tossing them. Eventually one may stick to the wall.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        bullnuke,
        Yes, so what is the employment rate? What is disparity, life expectancy, infant mortality? What is median wealth, quality of life? There are many measures to be made.

        I have not stated or suggested anything about business in the US.

        Its you guys who, like you mentioned (using Coolidge) always seem to look at the past when the future is the concern.

        Once upon a time we had tinkers, tailors, etc. Now it appears once upon a time there were many auto workers. Fact.

        No person will stop this change and no one owes the US or Australia jobs.

        I also have mentioned the US strength, including your current unemployment rate.

        As I’ve also mentioned previously the US isn’t performing that poorly. Its just many disheartened people blame the easiest. “Its not us”, its Mexico and those weird neighbours to our north.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        “In January 1925 President Calvin Coolidge—nicknamed “Silent Cal” for his taciturnity—declared, “The chief business of the American people is business.””

        We may note that the Coolidge administration was followed by the Great Depression, an economic downturn unparalleled in the nation’s history (before or since). We may also note that the US only started recovering from the Great Depression thanks to FDR’s New Deal, which was bitterly opposed by the business elite, and finally ended by the massive government-funded rearmament program initiated prior to American entry into World War II.

        So, we may learn from this that business can create economic disaster (as happened in the vents prior to 2008), and that disaster recovery results from government-led actions (as happened in 2008-9).

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          Noted the comment about the New Deal. WWII saved us from many of the misguided mistakes created by the New Deal and resurrected business as the chief business of the American people.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bullnuke,
            You hit the nail on the head. WWII gave the US unprecedented influence, power and control over all aspects of global trade and economics.

            Canada, Australia and NZ were also in that mix and we were given a easier path than necessary.

            But, if you look at the smaller economies of Australia and NZ you will see how and were the US will head down the track.

            As productivity ramped up in manufacturing due to automation across all industries NZ first then Australia became uncompetitive. This is back in the 60s. Australia and NZ lasted as long as they had due to their isolation from the major markets in the Northern Hemisphere and punitive import tariffs.

            When we realised we just aren’t competitive in the 70s Australia and NZ deregulated and became free market economies, not mixed economies as the EU and US/Canadian markets are.

            This process of freeing up our markets and industry started back in the late 70s and early 80s. Now we have more advanced post industrial economies than those now reliant on subsidies and handouts. We are less reliant on industry and yet are able to maintain the highest standards of living (HDI) in the world (2nd AU, 4th NZ).

            Since WWII most of the world is, or (some) have overtaken the US. The world will give the US what it wants, that is to be like it was. This would mean other nations giving up their wealth to the US. Why should the US earn welfare?

            It seems many of those who whine about social welfare in the US are also expecting the US to receive global welfare.

            The world can now be broken into 3 almost equal blocks of trade, US, EU and China. It isn’t just the US anymore. And I don’t envisage the EU or Chinese giving way to Trumps demands.

  • avatar
    1500cc

    I concerned that in our (Canada’s) efforts to save sacred cows like dairy supply management (which costs virtually all Canadians, to the benefit of a few thousand), they’ll have to give in on other issues that also cost us, essentially making it a lose-lose for us. IMO one of the best things that could come from these negotiations would be Canada getting ‘forced’ to turf supply management.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Protecting agrarian production or natural resource production is problematic because there is little value added, and stimulating production often has an adverse affect on pricing. The US stimulates agrarian production to keep food costs down, and to make sure the entire world has enough grain to eat. The US also stimulates production because we are an ag powerhouse; therefore, our farmers are constantly battling immizerizing effect. This policy puts Canadians in an awkward position where they must decide to let America do the farming or to protect their own farmers. It’s not really a matter of free markets, and they know no one wins if the US goes back to the old system of paying people not to produce.

      The arguments for protecting finished goods from predatory dumping and protecting infant industries from oligopoly are much different. Humans add a fair amount of value to the goods/services in question, and much of the information is proprietary, meaning the immizerizing affect of production is less acute.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      The US subsidizes its dairy and beef industries. In the case of dairy, it directly compensates producers for excess milk which cannot be sold. * If the US had unfettered access to the Canadian market, it would not be a level playing field and domestic Canadian producers would be undercut.

      *Reference: “Sugar, Salt, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us”, Michael Moss, 2013

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        Correct. The US uses subsidies, and it has good reason to adopt these policies as a means of addressing economic problems that induce short production in countries with huge agricultural output.

        Unfortunately, this puts Canada in a bind. Embrace trade barriers and/or subsidies to protect Canadian dairy production or let the US supply dairy for cheap, and employ the Canadian farming population elsewhere.

        The situation is just another lamentable consequence of the dismal science, but Mexico has no reason to be involved in this dispute or any US-Canada trade dispute. Multilateral involvement is the issue making negotiation so difficult, and it’s why multilateral trade is a waste of time.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          You have it backwards regarding the Canadian vs US dairy situation.

          The US (straight from the Trumpets mouth) was whining that Canadian milk was being sold cheaper than US milk.

          I know in Australia we have a completely deregulated dairy industry (and all industries). In the supermarket we are paying $1 AUD a litre for milk or around $2.80 USD a gallon.

          Bread is the same in Australia a 1 1/2 pound loaf of sliced white bread can be had for 85c or 70c US a loaf.

          The problem is with subsidisation it fosters inefficiencies. The cost of this is borne by the consumer. Motor vehicles are the same.

          The US and all countries need to look at what and why they are protecting industries like dairy when its proven worldwide that dairy and all agricultural products become cheaper as subsidies are removed.

          Adapt or die, this is what a free economy is all about. It appears that some who comment on TTAC look back half a century at the US with teary eyes when the US was competitive. But, who was your competition back then?

          You guys like many other nations confronted with the same issue as the US must adapt and overcome, not whine on how unfair the world is when you are the ones not willing the risk change.

          There are plenty of courses on risk management.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            The Canadian dairy industry and a few other “sacred cows” (pardon the pun) aren’t directly subsidized by the Canadian government but are supply regulated. That does end up costing the consumer more.
            Part of the reason #45 was spazing out was in relation to ultrafiltrated milk used in cheese products. There was a loophole that allowed it into Canada tariff free. Canadian dairy producers said that they could provide it at a competitive cost. Since Canadian dairy is supply managed with quotas and Canadian diary producers were competitively priced, there was no need to import American UF milk.
            As TW5 correctly pointed out, Canada is in bind. Do you open up markets to the USA juggernaut and watch your industry die or do you regulate it and allow higher prices to be borne by the populace.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            You are correct as is TW5.

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