TPP vital to Canada's pork industry says pork council chair

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Although everyone with an IQ bigger than their shoe size knows supply management is the 800-pound-gorilla Canada hopes nobody will notice at TPP, the gorilla is, nonetheless, too big, too cumbersome and too menacing for anyone to ignore much longer.

Therefore, we can expect the supply management propaganda machine to start working overtime in the hopes that, once again, supply management can make the "Hail Mary" play work for them.

In particular, expect SM to try to villify and crucify people like the National Post's John Iverson, even though Iverson is always completely-correct in his assessments, and then some.

Most importantly, if Canada misses out on TPP and the finger gets pointed at supply management, all Hell will break loose on the back roads of Canada, as so it should, as supply management gets deservedly ripped asunder by non-supply managed farmers.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The $9 billion US$ KING KONG at the TPP is the US Farm Bill -  and it is not even on the table.

Ask yourself, After two free trade deals with the US, why does Canada still have any border controls for dairy?  Answer - Because the US did not attack Canada's dairy tariffs or access levels in the CUSTA  or NAFTA and now in the TPP because they won't give up their own dairy tariffs, access level restrictions (the world's strongest restrictions) or subsidies.

If there is a TPP deal, you are going to be disappointed, because the likely result will be some fairly minor access increases. This forum can then look forward to hearing wails from Clinton for years to come.  Boo hoo..........

Just exactly who besides Canadian dairy farmers trying to shift attention away from themselves cares one iota about the "straw man" of US dairy tariffs? If US tariffs are so bad, why is the retail price of milk in the US consistently lower than in Canada, and by a LOT?

Or, to look at it in another way, who in their right mind, given the low US retail prices, would want to export milk to the US in the first place, thereby making the above poster's argument nonsensical?

More to the point, to loosely paraphrase Bill Clinton's "It's about the economy, stupid" when debating George H Bush, the quote defining supply management and its nonsensical position, is "Its about the price of milk, stupid" and it puts all the above poster's pseudo-babble into context and reduces it to the drivel it is.

Or, to look it in even another way, if US tariffs are so bad, why did oodles of Canadian dairy farmers (and their bankers) believe they could export milk profitably to the US about 15 years ago?

The biggest contradiction is, as seen in the above posting, is that people like the above poster claim a TPP deal will have only a minor effect on supply management, yet the industry itself is acting like it is the end of the world - methinks the above poster is simply a hired shill trying to put a brave face on a disaster.

However, it never ceases to amaze about the extent to which supply management supporters continue to believe their sheltered status quo is still an option with, or without, TPP - it's not.

When Ontario Pork delegates voted 68 - 13 at their 2013 annual general meeting to "urge government to place trade ahead of protectionism", that vote marked the end of supply management's reign as the status quo as surely as anything ever could.

I'll state again that if Canada misses out on TPP because we choke because of an attempt to save supply management, the fury emanating from the non-supply managed segment of the farm community (the next Ontario Pork vote will be unanimous) will be fierce and brutal because, if nothing else, supply management pits Canadian farmers against each other.

And, once again, the above poster's dismissive and patronizing "Boo hoo" comment at the end of his/her posting illustrates just exactly why supply management is not well-liked and why it definitely will not be missed.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

The US has “declined to seriously engage” in talks about removing the US Farm Bill.
Don't hold your breath.

Former US Vice-President, Spiro Agnew, coined the above alliteration over 40 years ago and it applies again, in spades, to anonymous commentators on this site, especially the ones who support the double standards underpinning supply management.

Nowhere in the original article and nowhere except in the minds of supply management supporters as they grasp at straws, is there any mention of the need for the US to remove, or even alter, the US Farm Bill.

And, indeed, why would they? - the US Farm Bill, save and except possibly through ethanol mandates, doesn't pit farmers against each other and doesn't screw consumers the way supply management does in Canada.

In addition, nobody's ever heard even as much of a peep from the Canadian hog and livestock sector about any problems they have with the US farm bill - the only people with any sort of real problem are grains farmers, but, thanks to ethanol mandates, any complaints come while their wallets are full of money.

This leaves the "crocodile tears" complaining about the US Farm Bill in the bailwick of supply management supporters desperate to complain about something, anything, everything in order to divert attention away from themselves - it's not working, and isn't going to work.

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

Why would the US Farm Bill, the world's second largest source of farm crop price subsidies, be relevant to be included in trade negotiations?

Even a first year ecenomics student would find that ridiculous!

From the 1930s until relatively-recently, the US attempted to put a floor price under grains - all it did was subsidize grains farmers in other countries, including Canada.

Then, if I recall correctly, in the 1996 US Farm Bill, the US decided to stop subsidizing farmers in other countries, and let the price of grains go where they may, and to subsidize US farmers instead of subsidizing what they produce.

Canada, of course, got caught flat-footed, and had no ability to pay Canadian grain farmers who got pasted to the wall as well as getting pasted to the wall by Canadian supply managed farmers who, in turn, were getting the benefits of 200% tariff barriers.

The point is that nobody in the TPP talks cares about how much the US subsidizes their grain farmers because everybody in the TPP talks (except Canada who nobody cares about anyway) wants to import US grains, and, therefore, NOBODY except Canadian supply managed farmers who are grasping at straws, cares about the US Farm Bill at TPP, nor should they.

Even people who fail introductory ag economics learn this!

Stephen Thompson, Clinton ON

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