Conservatives to push Liberals on TPP compensation

With the Canadian trade team agreeing to the Trans Pacific Partnership, there will be opportunities for the opposing parties to bring up issues with the deal. You can expect both the NDP and the Conservatives to use the TPP agreement as political leverage.

The Conservatives, who were previously very critical of the Liberals for not being more aggressive on advancing the TPP timeline, say they will now fight for dairy farmers who were promised TPP compensation by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper — the same dairy farmers who also helped new leader Andrew Scheer win the race to replace Harper as Conservative leader last year.

The same October day Canada agreed to the original TPP deal in Atlanta in 2015, the Harper government also announced a $4.3 billion compensation package for Canada’s supply managed sectors.

58 percent of people said the government should compensate dairy farmers for the access Canada had given up within the TPP in a RealAgriculture poll in the following days.

A column on RealAgriculture at the time dubbed it “a $4.3 billion PR problem”, but now this has turned into Conservative political leverage when Parliament returns from the winter break this week.

READ: A $4.3 billion PR problem

All three mainstream parties seem to continually battle to prove who loves supply management more, and this will be no different.

There is no doubt that the government will also be considering their NAFTA negotiations and whether it will create demand further compensation as well. The Canadian dairy industry will be pressing the Canadian negotiators to give up no further market access in NAFTA as the the 3.25% agreed to in the TPP back in 2015 included the Americans at the time.

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