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Topic # 180976 28-Sep-2015 14:26
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Looks like Canada's Conservative Party (federal) government is moving on dairy access under the TPP. 

CBC: "Canada Opening Border to Milk"

Canadian dairy farmers are up in arms. They make milk in a hostile climate and their dairy cattle need to be in warm barns for much of the year and fed something other than grass as well....which makes their milk more expensive than from places where the weather is warmer. 

There is considerable controversy about this in Canada as constitutional conventions should preclude any government finalising a huge trade deal next week in Atlanta, just 2 weeks before a general election they may well lose.  New Zealand operates under the same convention, but we aren't holding an election. The Canadian government is apparently intending to lock the next government into the TPP.....and that next government might not be the Conservatives.... coming to power in less than a month. 

The Conservatives were third in the polls (lots of reasons, but "arrogant, ignorant Tories" sums it up) until they declared they would not take many/any (depends who's talking) muslim refugees from Syria...while the two opposition parties (Liberals and NDP) had both committed to take more refugees. In Canada, muslim-hating - alone - is enough to swing elections. In Ontario in 2007 the Conservative party there was in Opposition but ahead in the polls. But they made it a policy commitment to provide government funding for religious schools (some rich Jews in Toronto wanted funding for Hebrew schools and made BIG donations to the Conservatives).....and this was converted by the Toronto Star (a Liberal-aligned newspaper) into "taxpayer money for muslim madrasas".....and consequently the Tories went down in a screaming heap in the October 2007 provincial elections.  

The same effect may be about to rescue the federal Conservatives...who were dog tucker until 2 weeks ago when the 3yo Syrian boy drowned on the beach in Europe, putting pressure on governments to take more refugees.

It's weird how all this stuff is interwoven and connected.

So Canadians may shaft their dairy farmers and wreck their public broadcaster and see their own wages pushed down further and more jobs go to China........because they don't want more muslims in Canada.

"Oh Canada!......"  

....and Kiwi farmers may come out better off for it (but the rest of us are probably screwed anyway by the TPP). We'll know on October 20th how it's going to go.




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  Reply # 1395842 28-Sep-2015 15:20
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love canadian corn fed steak though. mmmmm...

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  Reply # 1395856 28-Sep-2015 15:38
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Or not

"Reports of dairy concessions in TPP ‘absolutely false’: Fast"
https://ipolitics.ca/2015/09/26/liberals-wont-support-tpp-if-dairy-concessions-are-made-eyking/

But the Timetable for this thing is getting almost impossible now,

Even if they agree this week, Obama has to post the text for 60 days before he sgns it (condition of the TPA he has),
Canada can't do anything before their election, and the NDP would likely scuttle it if it threathen Supply Management...

so nothing in the US ( and thus anywhere) will happen for ratification until mid December, but Congress rises on the 21st, and does't return Until january, and the US Election Season begins with Primaries in the first week of February.....


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1395902 28-Sep-2015 16:54
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I think they've got a particular problem with dairy in Canada, with a concentration of small dairy farms (herd size about 60 average) in Quebec.  The area will die if Canada removes subsidies, and that will cause big problems for Ottawa and fuel secessionist sentiment.  They won't take it the way NZ farmers had to take removal of subsidies (SMP etc) in NZ.  They will riot.

gzt

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  Reply # 1395934 28-Sep-2015 18:00
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There is a lot of this apparently contradictory signalling in the process at the moment. New Zealand has given similar apparently contradictory signals. If you look closely you will find they are consistant but aimed at different groups. It is part of negotiation and trying to keep the domestic happy while giving some concessions.

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  Reply # 1395985 28-Sep-2015 18:44
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gzt: There is a lot of this apparently contradictory signalling in the process at the moment. New Zealand has given similar apparently contradictory signals. If you look closely you will find they are consistant but aimed at different groups. It is part of negotiation and trying to keep the domestic happy while giving some concessions.


In terms of trade in goods and services, as NZ is probably the most free of all nations negotiating TPP  already - about the only thing we've got left up our sleeve to "concede" would be to drop 5% tariff on shoes - so what "concessions" should we offer?
Oh that's right - we can agree to US imposed restrictions on free trade.

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  Reply # 1396018 28-Sep-2015 19:30
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Linuxluver:

[...]

So Canadians may shaft their dairy farmers and wreck their public broadcaster and see their own wages pushed down further and more jobs go to China........because they don't want more muslims in Canada.

"Oh Canada!......"  

....and Kiwi farmers may come out better off for it (but the rest of us are probably screwed anyway by the TPP). We'll know on October 20th how it's going to go.


That's a very jaundiced view. Don't you think that it might just be conceivable that the Canadian Government would make a deal on their dairy because they honestly believe it is good for Canadian consumers (who are overcharged by an uncompetitive and protected dairy sector), and that the treaty is good for Canada overall (you know, market access for their exports, inward investment, protection for Canadians investing offshore and all that)? It's far more plausible that they are doing what they consider to be in the interests of their country as a whole than that, for some unknown reason, their strategy is to sit in a darkened smoke-filled room coming up with dastardly plans to shaft specific people.

And, personally, I don't feel "screwed" by free trade so far. Exports create jobs. And import liberalisation means that I enjoy a far greater choice of imports, at competitive prices, than I ever did back in the day. And yes, I'm old enough that I can remember when lobbying by the dairy industry meant a Kiwi with a coronary condition needed a doctors prescription before they could buy polyunsaturated margarine instead of butter, protection for the motor vehicle assemblers meant many middle-class families struggled to have a car, and people used to pay for their overseas trips by savings on clothing because of our ludicrously uncompetitive apparel sector with 60%+ tariffs.

On both sides of the equation, I consider freer trade has been hugely beneficial for the country overall.



gzt

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  Reply # 1396024 28-Sep-2015 19:46
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JimmyH: Don't you think that it might just be conceivable that the Canadian Government would make a deal on their dairy because they honestly believe it is good for Canadian consumers (who are overcharged by an uncompetitive and protected dairy sector), and that the treaty is good for Canada overall (you know, market access for their exports, inward investment, protection for Canadians investing offshore and all that)?

Multiple sources say consumer milk price is cheaper in Canada than NZ

http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=New+Zealand&country2=Canada

Edit: my bold

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  Reply # 1396053 28-Sep-2015 20:07
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Surely the way any FTA works is by shifting production to the place where it can be done most efficiently.  So if dairy is very inefficient in Canada, due to climate etc, that sector is likely to take a hit?

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  Reply # 1396060 28-Sep-2015 20:21
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shk292: Surely the way any FTA works is by shifting production to the place where it can be done most efficiently.  So if dairy is very inefficient in Canada, due to climate etc, that sector is likely to take a hit?


That's the theory.  As the major cost component for many manufactured goods is labour, then reductio ad absurdum applies.  Fortunately the robots working on future assembly lines to make all the crap we need, ultimately won't mind being treated like slaves.

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  Reply # 1396203 28-Sep-2015 23:05
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Fred99:
shk292: Surely the way any FTA works is by shifting production to the place where it can be done most efficiently.  So if dairy is very inefficient in Canada, due to climate etc, that sector is likely to take a hit?


That's the theory.  As the major cost component for many manufactured goods is labour, then reductio ad absurdum applies.  Fortunately the robots working on future assembly lines to make all the crap we need, ultimately won't mind being treated like slaves.


Firstly, I don't think that phrase means what you think it does in this context. Secondly, your point is superficially attractive but wrong. Trade is about comparative advantage, not absolute advantage.

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  Reply # 1396294 29-Sep-2015 08:28
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Fred99:
shk292: Surely the way any FTA works is by shifting production to the place where it can be done most efficiently.  So if dairy is very inefficient in Canada, due to climate etc, that sector is likely to take a hit?


That's the theory.  As the major cost component for many manufactured goods is labour, then reductio ad absurdum applies.  Fortunately the robots working on future assembly lines to make all the crap we need, ultimately won't mind being treated like slaves.


And when the robots do all this there will be no jobs so no consumers..




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  Reply # 1396867 29-Sep-2015 21:23
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That's what the weavers said in 1811-1813 when they revolted against mechanisation.... hasn't happened yet.

Technology destroys some jobs, and creates others. Overall, we come out ahead. With a few wobbles along the way it has been like that since the industrial revolution, and producing more per person is why the average worker now is fantastically more prosperous than a wage worker in 1800.



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  Reply # 1396916 29-Sep-2015 21:40
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In terms of trade in goods and services, as NZ is probably the most free of all nations negotiating TPP  already - about the only thing we've got left up our sleeve to "concede" would be to drop 5% tariff on shoes - so what "concessions" should we offer?
Oh that's right - we can agree to US imposed restrictions on free trade.


Sounds about right. Hadn't thought of it that way. Thank you. 




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  Reply # 1396926 29-Sep-2015 21:50
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That's a very jaundiced view. Don't you think that it might just be conceivable that the Canadian Government would make a deal on their dairy because they honestly believe it is good for Canadian consumers (who are overcharged by an uncompetitive and protected dairy sector), and that the treaty is good for Canada overall (you know, market access for their exports, inward investment, protection for Canadians investing offshore and all that)? It's far more plausible that they are doing what they consider to be in the interests of their country as a whole than that, for some unknown reason, their strategy is to sit in a darkened smoke-filled room coming up with dastardly plans to shaft specific people.

And, personally, I don't feel "screwed" by free trade so far. Exports create jobs. And import liberalisation means that I enjoy a far greater choice of imports, at competitive prices, than I ever did back in the day. And yes, I'm old enough that I can remember when lobbying by the dairy industry meant a Kiwi with a coronary condition needed a doctors prescription before they could buy polyunsaturated margarine instead of butter, protection for the motor vehicle assemblers meant many middle-class families struggled to have a car, and people used to pay for their overseas trips by savings on clothing because of our ludicrously uncompetitive apparel sector with 60%+ tariffs.

On both sides of the equation, I consider freer trade has been hugely beneficial for the country overall.


Canada is a cold place. If you want fresh milk you need to have cows in Canada and they do impose higher costs than cows in warmer places too far away to truck the milk. It's perishable. But milk isn't just for drinking. All those derivative products like whey and caseine and milk power and so on also come from milk. They are not as perishable. Canadian dairy farmers who found their milk was only good for drinking would have an economic problem on their hands. So Canada protects the entire value chain to some extent. Similarly Canadians tend to pay higher taxes. They live in a cold place. Roads need maintaining over vast distances at much higher frequency than warm places. The same applies to many other public services affected by weather. It just costs more. "Uncompetitive" is a word that isn't relevant WITHIN Canada....but it could be used from people outside Canada who don't have to pay the cost of Winter.

As for free trade....we don't really have it anyway. We export less and less manufactured goods. Most of that has gone to China, Thailand, Fiji or Vietnam. Our wages have flat-lined for over a decade. The 40-hour work week is a rarity rather than the norm. People either work a lot more...or they can't get jobs with more than 30 hours (or they would be more expensive "full time" employees).

You are incredibly lucky to have avoided all this. Somehow.  Most Kiwis have not. But yeah.....this doesn't have much to do with free trade. We're just getting screwed - full stop. Vote for more of this. Vote National. 




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  Reply # 1397204 30-Sep-2015 10:59
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JimmyH: That's what the weavers said in 1811-1813 when they revolted against mechanisation.... hasn't happened yet.






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