Canada rail
Market freedom in Canada leads to increased wheat exports to U.S.
Photo courtesy of Canadian Pacific. 
 
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, U.S. — Jason Scott, chairman of the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), and Levi Wood, president of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, have called on the Canadian government to take the steps needed to allow “a free flow of grain in both directions across the border to improve the efficiency of the grain handling systems in both countries and eliminate artificial price distortions that frustrate farmers.”

In an opinion piece published in Canada’s News Hub Nation, Scott and Wood said, “Since the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s government monopoly control over the marketing of western Canadian wheat … one of the most significant changes to come from marketing freedom for wheat farmers has been the growth in sales of Canadian wheat into the U.S. market.”

The Canadian Wheat Board monopoly was disbanded in 2012 and the G3 Global Grain Group, along with the grain assets of Bunge Canada, formed a new Canadian agribusiness, G3 Canada Limited (G3). G3 focuses on grain purchasing and marketing as well as the handling and logistics aspect of the transportation and trade process.

Another issue of concern addressed in the piece was the potential renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

During his campaign for presidency, U.S. President Donald Trump openly spoke of his intention to renegotiate NAFTA to keep jobs in the United States. Trump has adopted an America first foreign policy focused on American interests and America’s security and has vowed to crack down on nations who violate trade agreements.

“Currently, Canadian farmers delivering wheat into the U.S. receive equitable treatment with grain grown south of the border; however, because of legislation and regulation that existed for years before the marketing freedom changes came to western Canada, U.S. producers who currently deliver wheat into Canada automatically receive the lowest grade, regardless of the quality or variety of grain, even if the variety is registered in Canada … This inequity has created significant concerns in the Canadian and U.S. wheat industries, especially given the potential of re-opening the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”

U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to over $38 billion today, due in large part to NAFTA. Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said any renegotiation of NAFTA must recognize the gains achieved by American agriculture and ensure that U.S. ag trade with Canada and Mexico remains strong.