Supply management in agriculture: Minister Lebel guarantees nothing

scandant-forts-unis-chantant-chansons(Quebec) It is impossible to guarantee the full protection of the agricultural management system of supply in a free trade agreement that Canada can not turn your back, admits Minister Denis Lebel.

The negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact aimed at liberalizing trade between 12 states account for nearly 800 million people, seem close to reaching Hawaii.

Among the countries involved, many are asking the abandonment of supply management system that applies in Canada for milk, poultry and eggs.

“Farmers with us remind us how the management offer is important, and we should very well, said Minister Lebel Monday in Quebec. But all economic sectors of the country are important. We must be in this partnership one. ”

Earlier in the day, many agricultural producers from across Quebec have expressed in Roberval, outside the offices of the Minister of State, to claim the maintenance of the Canadian system. “The result of the negotiations, I am not able to promise you, he admitted to the protesters, according to CBC. There are not a party that will promise one thing he is not able to deliver. ”

Yet last Friday the Minister of State for Agriculture, Maxime Bernier, was more categorical. He assured in press conference that the mandate of the federal negotiator is to “preserve the management system of the integrally offer, with its three pillars, that is to say, the control of production, control of price and import controls. ” Minister Bernier had talks with producers worried at his office in Sainte-Marie-de-Beauce.

“we will see”

“Promising to farmers of today they have what they want … Mr. Lebel reiterated in the capital. This is not me the chief negotiator. I carry the message, and we’ll see at the very end. ”

Setting up in the 70s, the supply management is a system that allows to control the fluctuation of prices of products ensuring a balance between supply and Canadian demand. This stability eliminates the need for producers to resort to subsidies as in other countries, argues the industry.

“We will continue to remind that the supply management, it is important to Canada, Quebec, and we’ll see how to conclude the negotiations, reiterated Minister Lebel. […] But for all the people of other sectors, whether wood, aluminum and others, we can not exclude themselves from those markets. ”

Nearly half of dairy and poultry producers in Canada are in Quebec.

The TPP is seen as a gateway to many Asian markets, including Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. The United States, Mexico, Peru, Australia and New Zealand are around the table. China does not belong. Ratification of an agreement nevertheless lead to the creation of the largest free trade area in the world.

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