Should Canada directly compensate grain farmers for trade disruption?

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The White House announced a second direct payment program this week for American farmers that have suffered loss of market access due to the U.S.’s trade war with China. The program totals US$16 billion and covers a majority of crops and livestock produced in the U.S.

At the same time, Canadian producers are just as worried about price and trade disruption for commodities such as canola, soybeans, and pork. If you expand outside of China, there are lingering trade issues with India and Italy that have impacted pulse and durum markets for some time now.

Should the Canadian government devise its own direct payment subsidy program?

Open, predictable, rules-based trade is the cornerstone of global commerce and leads to increased wealth and prosperity between trading nations, says Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, in an email to RealAgriculture.  Minister Bibeau says, “We take the rules-based trading system very seriously. Our government is prepared to respond to support producers of other commodities should further trade actions occur.”

What do farm groups and policy wonks think?

In speaking on and off the record with farmers and policy insiders, the opinions on Canada developing its own ad hoc direct payment program  has been quite one-sided.  The following were comments collected on Thursday and Friday:

“Even though it’s an election year, this government has more pertinent areas to dole out handouts than agriculture.”

“I do not think that anyone has even asked for a similar sort of bail out payment for Canadian producers because it’s difficult to show that at this point losses are that substantial.”

“We [Canada] will never win a subsidy war with the U.S.”

What do you think?

Based on your own situation and what is best for Canadian farmers we would love to get your opinion.  Please vote in the poll below and let your opinion be heard.

In regards to the U.S. program, a Farm Journal pulse poll shows 45% of growers approve of the MFP 2.0 program.

 

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