ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) commended the announcement that the U.S. Trade Representative has formally moved to advance a U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) dispute settlement proceeding and establish a second panel to determine whether Canada has been in violation of its market access obligations under the agreement.
Canada’s unwillingness to abide by the tariff-rate quota provisions of USMCA has been an issue since the agreement’s implementation began. The United States won its first dispute panel on the matter in Dec. 2021, which found that Canada was reserving most of its preferential dairy TRQs for Canadian processors that have little incentive to import product. Canada’s revised approach to USMCA TRQs, released in May, also provided inequitable advantages to Canadian processors.
“Canada’s TRQ allocation system is not only a violation of USMCA — it directly harms American dairy farmers, processors, and other workers by unfairly restricting access to their market,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “USTR’s action is an important step in righting this wrong and sending a message that the U.S. will fight violations of trade deals in Canada and wherever else they may be committed.”
“The U.S. dairy community greatly appreciates the Biden Administration’s decision to prioritize steps to address Canada’s USMCA violations,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “Unfortunately, Canada has shown a pattern of not living up to the dairy commitments it has made in trade agreements. As long as they continue to drag their feet, we’ll continue to work with USTR and USDA to fight back, and propose retaliatory action if necessary.”
If the panel ultimately confirms that Canada has been violating its obligations under USMCA, the U.S. would be granted the right to impose retaliatory duties should Canada fail to fix its unfair TRQ administrative practices.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of U.S. milk, making NMPF dairy’s voice on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more, visit www.nmpf.org.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products.
–National Milk Producers Federation
U.S. Dairy Export Council