CAFTA sounds alarm on trade fallout from supply management bill before Senate

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The Canadian agriculture exporters’ lobby group is saying no to proposed legislation it says could seriously undermine the country’s trade interests.

Michael Harvey, executive director of Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), says that Bill C-282 poses a major risk by tying negotiators’ hands, and signalling weakness to global competitors โ€” all but inviting other countries to target Canada’s supply-managed sectors.

“Bill C-282 basically says that in trade negotiations, Canadian trade negotiators cannot touch the sectors that are managed through the supply management system. We think that handcuffs our trade negotiators and ties their hands just way too tightly,” he explains.

Harvey argues that past negotiations have always protected supply-managed sectors effectively without legislative restricts. However, C-282 could, “shoot ourselves in the foot,” by signalling weaknesses to other countries and limiting negotiators’ flexibility.

Looking ahead, Harvey says the 2026 review of the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) as a major concern. Noting the political uncertainty in both the U.S. and Mexico, he is warning that “it could be very, very difficult” if C-282 restricts negotiators.

Check out the full conversation between Harvey, and RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney, below:

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