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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

"Free Trade:" Is it Working for Farmers?

Report by Darrin Qualman

Darrin Qualman’s article “Free Trade:” Is it Working for Farmers? argues that free trade agreements have dramatically altered the relative size and market power of players in the agri-food production chain. While Canadian agri-food exports have experienced dramatic increases since the institution of free trade agreements, realized net farm income has remained stagnant. Qualman claims free trade has two effects on agriculture: 1) it turns the world into a single hyper-competitive market, and 2) it facilitates agribusiness mergers and conglomeration. The result, he concludes, is that competition has increased for farmers (yet with a resulting drop in prices and profits), and has decreased for agribusiness (while profits and prices go up). It is up to the federal government, Qualman asserts, to protect Canadian farmers from future losses due to free trade agreements.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Darrin Qualman;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2002; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Free Trade Agreement
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / World Trade Organization
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Agriculture
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) / 2002
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / World Trade Organization / 2002
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Agriculture / 2002


Keywords / Tags:

farming; free trade; agri-business; exports; market power; production chain; net farm income; competition; profits;