B.C. consumers not likely to notice cheaper dairy products in USMCA: UBC trade experts

Click to play video: 'British Columbians react to new NAFTA deal'
British Columbians react to new NAFTA deal
After a year of negotiations, Canada has finally reached a new trade deal to replace NAFTA. Paul Haysom has reaction from British Columbians – Oct 1, 2018

More options but they won’t necessarily be cheaper — that’s what several trade experts at UBC are saying about the impact in British Columbia of American dairy farmers getting greater access to the Canadian market.

Food and land professor Marie-Claude Fortin says you’ll see more options on store shelves.

Here’s what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to say about the deal:

“I think what we may see are brands that we have never seen before or rarely seen, such as goats’ yogurt.”

Canadian processors will have greater access to “dairy derived products” used to make what we buy at the store. But another trade expert, Werner Antweiler, says it doesn’t mean more money in your wallet.

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“By the time these changes materialize, [we’ll see some inflation], so by that time we probably won’t see much happening that is noticeable for consumers.”

Antweiler said dairy products will still be cheaper across the border, because there is no cap on production in Washington State.

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“They are subsidizing their industry, and in fact they have subsidized it so much that there is a glut in the market because they are desperately trying to find international markets.”

And Claude Fortin said you won’t be able to taste the difference but consumers may not like the idea that a growth hormone used for cows known as rBGH is allowed in the United States and not in Canada.

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