The Canada-Europe Free Trade Agreement is a major milestone for the country.
The potential impact will be hugely positive, especially for prairie agriculture.
Among the greatest beneficiaries would be cattle ranchers in several provinces.
Increased duty-free access to European markets could mean as much an additional $600 million a year in revenue.
Similar gains are likely in canola, with a potential doubling of exports from 90 million dollars to 180 million dollars a year.
Prairie wheat producers have traditionally focused on high-quality grain for the European market, but the removal of a tariff on low protein product will mean a greater opportunity for all farmers.
Barley growers should also experience a boon. Not only will exports of malting increase, but even greater gains may be derived through feed sales to livestock producers.
Canadian dairy producers who have long enjoyed the protection of supply management are upset about the increase in Europe’s cheese quota, and they are anxious to protect the high-end cheese market which might be jeopardized by the free trade agreement.
But the deal has been signed, and once it’s ratified by the 28 member countries of the EU, Canadian agriculture will see a massive net benefit.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on agricultural policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org.