The Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) had been going on for 5-1/2 years in February 1992. Though it continued to stretch for another two years, there was concern that an impending agreement would limit Canada’s ability to maintain supply management. A crowd of farmers and other supporters, estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000, travelled to Ottawa to show their support for the marketing system. Most were from Ontario and Quebec but there were also busloads from B.C. to Newfoundland and it was estimated that one-third of the dairy farmers from P.E.I. were there. A crowd of close to 1,000 dairy and poultry farmers also held a meeting at a Winnipeg hotel, with speakers warning that the GATT agreement could put 2,400 Manitoba producers’ jobs on the line.
Earlier that month in Ottawa, Russian President Boris Yeltsin had been in Ottawa and signed a long-term agreement to buy 25 million tonnes of wheat and barley over the next five years. However, there were concerns emerging about whether Russia and the states formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union would be good credit risks.
That month Iowa pork producers passed a resolution asking for a ban on Canadian imports because of unfair trade practices, citing support under the national tripartite program, which had paid $18.98 per hog in the fourth quarter of 1991 and $16.55 for the third quarter.