Pork Producers Frustrated Over Impact of NAFTA Discussion on Hog Markets

Farmscape for August 31, 2018

The Chair of Sask Pork says pork producers have been frustrated by the impact the rhetoric coming out of North American trade negotiations has had on hog prices this summer.
On Monday the United States and Mexico announced a preliminary agreement to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement and negotiations between the U.S. and Canada are again underway.
Casey Smit, the Chair of the Saskatchewan Development Board, says it has been concerning as pork producers have watched their markets decline over the summer.

Clip-Casey Smit-Saskatchewan Development Board:
I think the amount of trade that goes back and forth between our two countries is significant.
I can speak to Saskatchewan, as an export province in terms of the amount of commodities and products that we do produce here, it's extremely important.
To keep that flow of products moving across the border a relatively low trade tariff model is extremely important.
I think it's important that we continue to have that agreement in place not only with the U.S. but also with Mexico as it was a three way agreement.
That one I think is even more frustrating to watch as it ebbs and flows between, I'll be blunt, some of the rhetoric that does come out of the U.S. in terms of what that agreement means not only to the U.S. but what it's done for Canada as well.
From our perspective it's a modernization of the program which is fair because it's been 25 years but it's done well and producer groups on both sides of the border would like to see it kept intact and used as the key trade agreement between the two counties which has done very well over the years.

Smit says there's a lot of apprehension over what the trade tariffs have done to hog prices but also recognizing there is a lot of pork coming to the market as U.S. pork production has expanded tremendously also causing a lot of pressure on prices.
He says pork producers are aware and are preparing for a tough winter ahead.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

       *Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork