Should Canada directly compensate grain farmers for trade disruption?

The White House announced a second direct payment program this week for American farmers that have suffered loss of market access due to the U.S.’s trade war with China. The program totals US$16 billion and covers a majority of crops and livestock produced in the U.S.

At the same time, Canadian producers are just as worried about price and trade disruption for commodities such as canola, soybeans, and pork. If you expand outside of China, there are lingering trade issues with India and Italy that have impacted pulse and durum markets for some time now.

Should the Canadian government devise its own direct payment subsidy program?

Open, predictable, rules-based trade is the cornerstone of global commerce and leads to increased wealth and prosperity between trading nations, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, in an email to RealAgriculture.  Minister Bibeau says, “We take the rules-based trading system very seriously. Our government is prepared to respond to support producers of other commodities should further trade actions occur.”

What do farm groups and policy wonks think?

In speaking on and off the record with farmers and policy insiders, the opinions on Canada developing its own ad hoc direct payment program  has been quite one-sided.  The following were comments collected on Thursday and Friday:

“Even though it’s an election year, this government has more pertinent areas to dole out handouts than agriculture.”

“I do not think that anyone has even asked for a similar sort of bail out payment for Canadian producers because it’s difficult to show that at this point losses are that substantial.”

“We [Canada] will never win a subsidy war with the U.S.”

What do you think?

Based on your own situation and what is best for Canadian farmers we would love to get your opinion.  Please vote in the poll below and let your opinion be heard.

In regards to the U.S. program, a Farm Journal pulse poll shows 45% of growers approve of the MFP 2.0 program.

 

2 thoughts on “Should Canada directly compensate grain farmers for trade disruption?

  1. unfortunately on going subsides long term will distort land and equipment prices and when taken away which at some point
    It will be will be worse ask any farmer in the U.K. In the last 10-15 years the changes made by the eu to there subsidies.
    There is how ever a need for some action we as farmers have no control over the prices we receive, but we are the primary source of
    Income for so many other AG related business be imput suppliers grain elevators machinery dealers, so support to farmers support s
    So many more people and the list is longer than that.
    Agistability was a good program but because of payouts maid changed the rules which now means you have to be destitute before it kicks
    In also doesn’t come close to covering cost as so many costs are excluded, fix agristability so it actually works, we all go broke and the Chinese
    Corps buy all the land in western Canada what will that look like

  2. There should have been a place to put “No” without AgriStability, as I don’t know of any grain farmers that have admitted that they are in it. But I do have to get this off of my chest. 75 some odd years ago, many prairie men and barely men volunteered, fought, and died to do the right thing. Canola drops 10% in price and we act like the world is ending. Our political heads (I can not call them “Leaders”) wring their hands and worry about offending a trading partner that does not play by the established rules. Sorry, but I am sometimes embarrassed by our society today.

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