Free trade, not ‘cartels’: Bernier

Canada should put its dairy, poultry and egg “cartels” on the table in trade talks with the United States in exchange for dropping protectionist measures such as the softwood lumber tariff, Conservative Party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier says.

In his latest move to renegotiate NAFTA, U.S. President Donald Trump has imposed duties of up to 24% on Canadian softwood lumber.

If Wisconsin dairy farmers want access to the Canadian market, they should know it’s a two-way street, said Bernier.

It makes sense to phase out the supply management systems in Canada that keep the price of milk and other products artificially high, he said.

“But I will ask (Trump) at the same time, ‘Why do you want to impose a tariff on our softwood lumber?’ … It is not fair for American consumers who want to build a new house — they will have to pay $1,000 more,” Bernier told the Toronto Sun Tuesday.

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  • Raymond Hietapakka

    I don’t want Bovine Growth Hormones in my Diamond Shreddies…

    • NO Shreddies for you!

    • Where do you get the diamond ones? Mine are square.

      • andycanuck

        South Africa.

        • Or you could always rotate the square ones about 45 degrees and muscle in on the South African market…

          • andycanuck

            No. Then the De Boers would arrange an “accident” for you just like they got Harambe!

    • canminuteman

      So don’t buy American milk. No one is going to force you to.

  • Well, at least Bernier’s not “virtue signaling”, and that’s refreshing from any Canadian politician.

  • disqusW6sf

    I’m leaning more everyday towards Bernier.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    The soft wood tariffs are a response to the Canadian government doing a back door subsity of your exported timber.
    Stop the subsidies and the tariffs go away.
    This has been going on for nearly 4-decades now.
    Your timber industry must have one hell of a good lobby.

    • Ironically, many pulp and paper mills have closed here — the “tree hugger” lobby is at the top of the hierarchy. None of it makes sense.

      • Alain

        No it was not the lunatic tree huggers who killed the pulp and paper mills here, it was NATFA with the Americans demanding that the logs not be processed here but shipped as raw logs.

    • Alain

      If I recall correctly there has been more than one ruling stating that Canada is not guilty of this claim. I do clearly recall how the Americans managed to put an end to the plan not to export logs but to convert them into lumber here prior to any exportation.

    • Minicapt

      No, the problem arose in the mid-70s when it was discovered that it was cheaper to import lumber from BC to Georgia, than it was to buy Georgia’s lumber.
      The explanation was that BC producers benefited because they didn’t follow the uS rules.

      Cheers

      • Drunk_by_Noon

        Other than it maybe starting in the 1970’s, I’m dubious of that claim, especially when you are comparing imported Canadian softwood lumber with locally sourced softwoods in the southern U.S. (the area with the lowest cost of labor in the U.S.).
        That would assume some serious production ineffiency on our side that would allow for your imported trees to be legitimately cheaper.
        I just don’t think that’s possible.
        I’ll keep an open mind, but I think tree-felling ability on both sides of the maple curtain are about at parity.

        • Minicapt

          Much of this was explained in a letter to the Financial Post in the mid 80s, signed by “James Earl Carter”, tree farm operator.

          Cheers

  • jt

    Canada allowes 11% dairy imports the states 2% yet some how were the problem.

    • canminuteman

      If we had a free market there would be no limit either way. That would be a good thing.

      • Ho Hum

        When Australia and the UK did away with supply management it did not result in lower prices. The retailers pocketed the savings and the farmers were poorer for it. At least in this system family farms are viable. The US has the same protectionism for their dairy farmers and I doubt they will do away with import quota’s either.

        • canminuteman

          Well the point of free trade is both sides get rid of barriers. If both sides don’t there is not point.

          • Ho Hum

            Yes exactly

          • Alain

            True, and that is the point. American agriculture, including dairy is highly subsidised by the government. That it does not take the same form as Canada, does not mean it does not exist. I remain opposed to government interference and intervention in any form, but please don’t think that ending supply management would result in an equal playing field.

  • Ho Hum

    Canada could do away with it’s supply management system but I would bet that the American’s are not going to give up protectionism for their dairy market. As it is Canada offers US dairy farmers far greater access to our market than they do their’s in fact the US exports 5 times the amount of dairy products to Canada than it imports and yet Trump still say’s our dairy trade practices are “disgraceful”. The problem is these trade issues are complex and I am sure that most American’s believe Trump when he says Canada is treating US dairy farmers unfairly and Trump is so stupid that he probably believes this also.

    Why is Trump beating up on Canada over trade? The US enjoy’s a $11.9 Billion SURPLUS in the trade of goods and services with Canada. Can’t say the same for Mexico or China. I suspect that Trump is going after Canada because we are a small t country. This is typical behavior of a bully.

    • You’re wrong about the U.S. trade surplus with Canada — Canada has the surplus (albeit not nearly as large as Mexico’s). Just about everybody has a surplus with the U.S., probably due to the massive size of its consumer pop.

      • Ho Hum

        If you look at just “goods” Canada has a ~$10 Billion surplus but when you include services it turns into a $11.9 Billion deficit. It should be remembered that included included in the “goods” figure is $70 Billion in oil exports. Would Americans prefer to buy this oil from Saudi Arabia or Iran? Either way you look at it the US is not doing badly in its trade with Canada.

        • What I’m hoping is Canada’s “sacred cow” will finally be negotiable — our “cultural” industries. Specifically in the area of communications, which will have the biggest political impact in terms of opening up free speech in the public square. Let’s face it, without opening up to the U.S., network news and opinion in Canada will always be under the absolute control of the Left — zero competing narratives or alternative sources for news and a broader debate.

          Wouldn’t it be great to have something like Fox here to balance out the one-sided CBC?

  • Sooner or later, protectionism and supply boards would rear their ugly heads.

    Did Trudeau’s handlers anticipate that or did they think that President Hillary Clinton would keep the status quo?