By: JOSH WINGROVE–
The U.S. wrapped up the fourth round of Nafta trade talks with a bombshell proposal to dismantle Canada’s dairy sector, adding to a list of demands its trading partners say would be impossible to accept as negotiations grow more fraught.
The proposal delivered Sunday would effectively kill Canada’s so-called supply management system by fully eliminating tariffs on supply-managed products over 10 years, according to two officials familiar with the measures, speaking on condition of anonymity. The basics of the proposal were later confirmed by U.S. officials. Supply management is a system of quotas and tariffs for milk and other products that Canadian officials argue avoids oversupply and guarantees stable pricing and production. President Donald Trump has called the system “unfair” to U.S. farmers as he threatens to back out of Nafta.
The proposal comes as warnings mount that the U.S. will have to water down demands — on automotive content, dispute panels, government procurement and a sunset clause — if it wants a deal. Meanwhile, the Canadian tone has grown decidedly more pessimistic over the past week, as frustration grows and begins to mirror that of Mexico, long a more public target of Trump. Talk of mere Nafta “tweaks” are long gone.
Read full article here