Canadian officials have released a trade proposal addressing tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), to the dismay of American dairy groups. The proposal comes after a dispute settlement panel found that Canada was limiting dairy market access in violation of provisions established in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Both the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) have rejected the proposal from Global Affairs Canada.
“Enough is enough. U.S. dairy producers are sick and tired of Canada’s game playing on dairy market access,” NMPF President and CEO, Jim Mulhern said in a press release. “This pattern of behavior has gone on too long. All that American dairy farmers want is fair and good-faith implementation of USMCA’s dairy provisions. That doesn’t seem like a high bar, yet it appears to be insurmountable for Canada based on yesterday’s proposed dairy TRQ scheme changes.”
The issue of Canadian dairy TRQs was the first case to be decided through the USMCA dispute settlement process. With the decision, Canada was instructed to comply with the findings of the USMCA Dispute Settlement Panel. NMPF and USDEC note that the proposed changes to the dairy trade policy do not go far enough in providing appropriate access for U.S. dairy products. Dairy groups will continue to work with the Biden Administration and Congress on efforts to ensure that USMCA terms are adhered to.
“U.S. dairy farmers and manufacturers have only limited access to the Canadian market under USMCA. That makes it essential that Canada abide by its original commitments under that agreement,” said USDEC President and CEO, Krysta Harden. “Canada’s recent dairy TRQ proposal will not lead to that result. While it’s not surprising that Canada is trying to see just how little will be demanded of them, it’s essential that the U.S. government insist on real reforms.”