Canadian farm groups fighting to keep protection

By: Steven Chase

CANCUN, MEXICO, Globe and Mail | Trade Observatory| Sept. 9, 2003: Canadian farm groups are fighting a move at global free-trade talks in Mexico to drastically scale back the protection from foreign imports that dairy, egg and poultry producers have enjoyed for about three decades.

They warn that proposals to ratchet down agricultural tariffs, backed by the United States and other key players, could devastate the livelihood of farmers in Canada's supply-managed system who produce Canada's milk, eggs, chickens and turkeys, as well as processors who make cheese, yogurt and ice cream.

Dairy farmers argue that lowering tariff barriers before bigger issues, such as U.S. and European farm subsidies, are substantially dealt with could let in too much foreign dairy, eggs and poultry, and disrupt the production system in Canada. MORE>

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