U.S. Trade Representative to expand Canadian dairy trade dispute

Alan Bjerga with National Milk Producers Federation discusses USTR’s move to get Canadian market access with Brownfield’s Larry Lee

The U.S. is taking further action against Canada for its dairy trade practices.  U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai requested new dispute settlement consultations with Canada under the United States – Mexico – Canada Agreement regarding Canada’s dairy tariff-rate quota (TRQ) allocation measures.

Alan Bjerga with National Milk Producers Federation applauds the move, saying Canada has only issued Tariff Rate Quotas to Canadian processors who have no need for U.S. dairy products, essentially leaving the market closed to imports. “The U.S. took the first-ever dispute resolution panel case before USMCA about what Canada was doing. The U.S. won. Now, Canada is dragging its feet again.”

In a statement, Tai says the United States has identified additional aspects of Canada’s measures that appear to be inconsistent with Canada’s obligations under the USMCA, and U.S. concerns have only increased.

Bjerga says expanding retaliatory tariffs on other Canadian goods outside of dairy may be necessary to get Canada to live up to the USMCA agreement. “Canada is well-versed in dairy shenanigans. They have a very strong lobby, and they promptly started doing things that showed a lack of good faith in the agreement.”

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says dairy market access in Canada is an important priority and USDA will continue to work in lockstep and use every tool at its disposal to achieve market access.

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