Ontario agri-food trade adviser to be based in Beijing

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I would hope that Wynne Maybe just maybe we will have less damage to the Ontario economy if she is there !

It's too bad that anyone chosen for this position will go there with one hand tied behind his/her back because of our inability to export a full range of agricultural products thanks to the 200% tariff barriers we have to keep dairy and poultry products out.

On that note, if another country sent a similar development officer to Canada to try to drum up sales of their dairy and poultry products here, that would be the definition of having "both hands tied behind their back".

The stupidest thing about this announcement is, of course, the continuance of, and even the enhancement of, our "one foot on the brake and one on the gas" mentality which enables us to justify the definitional impossibility of trying to get others to buy our stuff while at the same time we refuse to buy theirs.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The US has more, and more-effective tariff protection, and $8 billion in US Farm Bill subsidies and the EU has the even more distorting impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Thompson again simplistically focuses on his personal whipping boy - ignoring all the world's other trade issues. Supply management is the tiny tip on the tail of the large angry dog that is international trade - but it is all Thompson can see.

Unfortunately, the un-palatable truth is that supply management, while maybe not the tip of the dog's tail, is very-much the dog's sphincter muscle when it comes to Canada and trade - if it wasn't, why would Ontario Pork, at its 2013 annual general meeting, vote 68-13 to "urge government to place trade ahead of protectionism"?

In addition, accusing me of focusing "simplistically" on supply management is actually a compliment because the issue is, indeed, just that simple - it really is all about supply management because, for Canada and our trade aspirations, nothing else matters.

Finally, as always when it comes to supply management, the "large angry dog" is the quota-owning "dog in the manger".

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Editor: Comment will be published if resubmitted and signed.

As a counterpoint to the adage that "a half-truth repeated often enough attempts to become the truth", it is, therefore, incumbent on all those who seek and know the truth about the pervasive evils of supply management, to deny the half-truths upon which it depends for its existence, whenever and wherever they appear.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON


Nothing says "hitting a home-run" quite like somebody taking issue with the most-minute and least-relevant details of a post.

Thompson attacks the dog analogy but ignores the indisputable real arguments.

Supply management supporters thrive on regurgitating "I only took two cookies, he took three" arguments as a means of trying to support their lavishly-obscene entitlements at the expense of everyone else, particularly poor consumers.

Their arguments, once examined, are always nonsense - for instance the oft-repeated claim that US has higher tariffs than Canada on dairy products falls flat on its face when one realizes that US dairy prices are so low that nobody is going to try to import dairy products into the US in the first place, thereby making US tariffs on dairy products the equivalent of mammary glands on a bull.

Therefore, the "indisputable real arguments" proffered by supply management supporters are always simplistic, one-sided and entirely in their favour, thereby continually demonstrating exactly why supply management is not well-liked and will not be missed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Arguments that are always simplistic, one-sided and entirely in their favour?
Like what milk was served on a Korean Airways flight?

The milk for our coffee was from New Zealand as was the butter for our rolls. I didn't ask where the cheese came from, but I'm willing to bet it wasn't from Canada.

Sheesh, what is it about the truth that New Zealand dairy products are the product of choice for at least one major Korean company that supply managed farmers refuse to believe?

I mean, really, if Canadian milk purchasers are getting such a good deal with supply management, why, since parts of Canada would seem to be a lot closer to Korea than New Zealand, can't Canada supply dairy products to Korea instead of overseeing the stagnation of and decline of our own market?

The answer is, of course, it would reduce the value of quota

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

US needs its tariffs to keep out NZ, Oz and eastern EU products.

$8 billion in US Farm Bill subsidies and the EU has the even more distorting impact of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Thompson still simplistically focuses on his personal whipping boy - ignoring all the world's other trade issues.

Using Bank of Canada data for the last 10 years, the foreign currency exchange rate between the Canadian $ and the Chinese Yuan (Renminbi) has dropped by 34.8% from April 2005 to today, making Canadian goods cheaper for Chinese consumers (momentary spikes were as high as 63.3%).

That would seem like an ideal reason for Ontario to hire an Agri-Food Trade Advisor in Beijing China.

Beef, other non-Supply Management commodities, Canadian technology and manufacturing seem like natural winners.

But what about Canada's Supply Management commodities of chicken, turkeys, eggs, and dairy?

Oops! Sorry, those are commodities with artificially high prices and whopping import tariffs of around 285% that Canadians are forced to pay. Under World Trade Organization treaties that Canada signed, exporting those Canadian SM commodities would be subject to illegal dumping charges if they are sold at prices higher than the prices paid by Canadian.

The Chinese aren't so stupid as to pay what Canadians are forced to pay every day; 50% to 300% higher prices than what the rest of the world pays.

Since the foreign exchange improvements are only 34.8% in 10 years, that is equivalent to a 3.03%/yr decrease on average over 10 years.

At that rate, it would take another 25.1 years to eliminate Canada's 285% import duty on SM products.

Perhaps Premier Kathleen Wynne should schedule a ribbon cutting ceremony with her Agri-Food Trade Advisor in Beijing China for May 2040 launch of Ontario's SM products for China.

It's always good to plan ahead. You know how quickly everybody's schedule fills up.

Until then, too bad for Canada and its dysfunctional Supply Management systems. They hold all of us back from prosperity and Canadian jobs working in the export industry.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Ok, so you have no understanding of tariffs, dumping or exchange rates.
Hit the books and come back later.

Anonymously accusing Mr. Black of not understanding tariffs, dumping or exchange rates is not just the sign of a coward, it also, in this case, represents a deliberate and misrepresentational "lack of understanding" on the part of the cowardly and anonymous poster.

It's like this - anyone with even an Undergraduate degree in economics, and particularly an Undergraduate degree in ag economics, knows that Mr. Black is completely correct, and then some.

In addition, Mr. Black has the professionalism, the dignity and the grace to sign his name to his comments, whereas the anonymous poster does not, thereby giving the anonymous comments zero credibility or the equivalency of academic fraud.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Your absolutely correct, especially on the dumping. The Canadian corn countervail action about a dozen years ago was a clear cut case of "dumping corn" into Canada, yet it would appear that political action at the highest levels of government made a mockery of dumping and countervail rules!

In response to "Tragic Lack of Understanding" http://betterfarming.com/comment/16055#comment-16055

I see a typo in my previous post, where I should have said,

" Under World Trade Organization treaties that Canada signed, exporting those Canadian SM commodities would be subject to illegal dumping charges if they are sold at prices LOWER than the prices paid by Canadian."

Other than that, I stand by my previous posting.

Is that what the anonymous poster complains against?

If it's something else, please enlighten me and the rest of the world in full detail about my alleged errors and lack of understanding.

If Canada drops its SM prices to something the Chinese are willing & able to afford, then it will attract a WTO complaint against Canada dumping its SM commodities into China.

If Canada tries to sell our SM products in China at Canadian prices, nobody would be willing to buy them as they are way too expensive compared to what Chinese customers could buy from USA, Brazil, New Zealand, and other exporters of dairy, chicken, & turkey.

If you don't return with clear and specific facts to back up your random and spurious attacks, then we can ignore your attacks.

If I am in error, then I look forward to learning from someone with greater knowledge.

The ball is in your court. Knock it back if you can.

Glenn Black
Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada

Hihger would have been a typo.
Higher was simply wrong.
Search for your own answers to correct your bizarre thinking about exchange rates.
If tariffs worked the way you believe, then, for one simple example, NZ retail milk prices would not be higher than both the US and Canada.

When, in early 2013, my son and I flew from Seoul to Detroit on Korean Airways, the dairy products served to us were clearly marked as being products of New Zealand, not Korea, not the US and definitely not Canada.

If the above anonymous poster was correct, especially about exchange rates, New Zealand dairy products wouldn't have been the best price in Korea at all, thereby rendering the New Zealand dairy price argument just another daft and baseless argument made by supply management supporters and people who don't want to understand how exchange rates work unless it supports the gravy train of the protectionism they enjoy.

Ah yes, another day, another another factless and baseless posting from the anonymous supply management rabble!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Not sure who attracts more name calling, bullying and hate on this site. Is it the anonymous commenters who follow the rules of the site or those who work hard milking cows and follow all the rules involved in supply management?
Either way I don't think this is healthy.

It's comments like "those who work hard milking cows" which infuriate those who, because of the 200% tariff barriers coddling dairy farmers, have to work three times as hard as a dairy farmer in order to get only half as far.

Even when the above anonymous poster claims some criticisms aren't "healthy" he/she completely misses the point that it is always healthy to criticize a bad system by any means available.

Supply management pits farmers against each other, period, and there's absolutely nothing unhealthy and nothing wrong with using strong language in an effort to get rid of that dysfunctional system of legislated perks and priveleges by any means possible.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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