Canada’s trade minister holds firm on dairy TRQ position

RealAgriculture, 2019

After Canada defended its standpoint on dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), the U.S. trade representative, Katherine Tai, has released a statement further articulating the country’s “disappointment” with Canada’s unwillingness to make further changes to the TRQs.

“The United States is deeply disappointed by Canada’s announcement today regarding its dairy tariff-rate quotas,” says Tai. “Our top priority remains ensuring that U.S. workers, producers, farmers, and exporters benefit from the market access they were promised under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – and I communicated this directly to Canada before it published today’s notices. To date, we have not seen the promises by Canada in the USMCA fully realized. We will evaluate all options, and work with stakeholders and members of Congress, as we determine our next steps in the coming days.”

           Background: U.S. dairy groups call for retaliatory tariffs against Canada under USMCA

Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, stood by the federal position, stating “The CUSMA dispute settlement panel’s report ruled in favour of Canada in a majority of the claims. The new policies address the sole finding of a CUSMA dispute panel that Canada’s practice of reserving TRQ pools exclusively for the use of dairy processors is inconsistent with the Agreement. The new policies end the use of processor-specific TRQ pools.”

The ruling in question was deemed “won” by both Canada and the U.S., at the time.

TRQs allow a pre-determined quantity of a product to be imported at lower import duty rates than the duty rate normally applicable to that product.