From the Western Producer, July 26, 2018:
No ad-hoc farm aid if trade goes awry
Current farm safety nets will have to be enough if an escalating trade war hurts farmers financially, say Canada’s agriculture ministers.
“If there are problems, I’m not going to speculate on what problems there might be, the agricultural sector in general is doing quite well,” Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay told reporters. “There is a system in place to make sure if we hit any major problems that we’re able to deal with it.”
But the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and other industry leaders told ministers they need to look at a contingency plan.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen right now,” said CFA president Ron Bonnett. “There’s going to have to be a number of what-if scenarios unrolled and take a look at what is necessary to make sure that we get through this.”
He said depending on what happens, particularly between the United States and China, there will be a direct impact on prices.
In the U.S., President Donald Trump has vowed to provide $12 billion in aid to farmers there.
“The real hurt is happening and that isn’t speculation. No-one is a winner in this childish sandbox-style trade dispute, especially not those on the sidelines like western Canadian hog farmers,” says Dan Majeau, Chair of Alberta Pork. “When your Canadian commodity price is based on the U.S. price, you feel their pain plus some extra. These trade tariffs are having immediate effect on the global market as buyers wait to pick up cheaper deals at the expense of producers and packers.”