Explaining the Paradox: Canada’s Position in the Agricultural Trade Negotiations of the Uruguay and Doha Rounds
MetadataShow full item record
The Canadian government has been holding an inconsistent position in the agricultural trade negotiations of both the Uruguay and Doha rounds. It has been advocating for freer agricultural trade while defending its supply management system, a protectionist policy that governs dairy, poultry and eggs in the country. The thesis attempts to answer the question: What domestic factors explain the inconsistent position, advocating for both liberalization and protectionism, that Canada has been advocating in the Uruguay and Doha rounds of negotiations on agriculture since 1985? The thesis starts with the assumption that the Canadian government has had a preference for free trade and market-based economic policies since the 1980s. The question is therefore less about explaining Canada’s dual position, but rather about explaining why Canada continues to defend supply management, a system that appears to be in contradiction with its policy preferences. The thesis explores two arguments. First, it analyses the lobbying power of the farmers’ organizations from the supply-managed sectors and from the export-dependent sectors. Second, the thesis evaluates the impact of the concentration of supply-managed farms in Quebec and Ontario. It looks at the effect of support by these two provincial governments, at electoral motivations behind the maintenance of supply management as well as at Quebec separatism and nationalism. Finally, the thesis presents the importance of corporatism in the continued governmental support to supply management.