the Political Process
The elimination of Article XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) with the implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreement in 1995 removes the legal compulsion for Canada to manage its dairy and poultry supplies domestically in order to restrict imports. Canadian dairy and poultry producers are no longer legally compelled to honor the production-restricting requirements that enable supply management to function effectively. Thus, the preservation of orderly marketing and formula-based pricing and the adjustment of provincial market shares in the face of changes in market structures and consumer preferences are now all matters of voluntary agreement. This chapter appraises the viability of Canadian supply management in this altered environment by focusing upon reform initiatives underway in the poultry and dairy sectors. It argues that the composition of key decision-making structures in poultry supply management systems and the rules under which they have functioned have stymied their adjustment in the past and undermined their legitimacy. The future survival and adaptation of poultry supply management rests upon reforming its institutions and rules. However, the reformist strategy in poultry supply management is flawed, and the private and public stakeholders in the sector are limited in terms of their ability to build a long-lasting consensus. By contrast, the existing institutional framework and the ongoing reform process in dairy supply management are more likely to enable the consensus-building and compromises across private and public stakeholders that are necessary for its adaptability and survival.