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Trading partners upset with Canada over dairy

Trading partners upset with Canada over dairy

New Zealand and the U.S. have opened disputes with Canada

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Two Canadian trading partners are challenging how the country handles dairy imports.

The United States has launched a second Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) dispute over Canada’s tariff-rate quota (TRQ) allocations.

The U.S. launched a CUSMA panel in January 2022, which agreed that Canada’s allocation of dairy TRQs is inconsistent with the signed trade agreement.

Canada’s measures “deny allocation access to eligible applicants, including retailers, food service operators, and other types of importers, and impose new conditions on the allocation and use of the TRQs,” a May 25 White House document says.

Under CUSMA, Canada maintains 14 TRQs on products including milk, cream, butter, and cheeses.

But Canada has taken measures which restrict access of U.S. dairy coming into the country, including not fully allocating its annual TRQs and only releasing a portion at a time.

“As a result of this restriction, Canada has been undermining the value of its dairy TRQs for U.S. farmers and exporters…,” the White House document says.

New Zealand is also challenging Canada’s handling of dairy TRQs.

On May 12, New Zealand’s minister of trade and export growth announced it’s launching a dispute with Canada for TRQ implementation as part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Canada isn’t allowing enough imports of New Zealand dairy, the country’s government says.

“Many of Canada’s dairy TRQs remain unfilled and this represents a tangible loss to New Zealand’s dairy exporters,” a New Zealand government release says. “The value to New Zealand of this lost market access is estimated to be approximately $68 million over the first two years, with this expected to increase year on year as the size of these quotas increase under CPTPP.” has contacted the office of Mary Ng, Canada’s trade minister, for comment on these disputes and if Canada is in compliance with CUSMA and CPTPP with respect to dairy TRQs.

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