NMPF, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), and International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) submitted comments on March 5 to Global Affairs Canada on the administration of Canada’s dairy tariff rate quotas (TRQs).
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The comments presented a clear, unified signal to Canadian authorities of the need for dramatic reforms in their current administration and allocation of TRQs. “Canada is failing to meet its trade obligations by manipulating import license procedures and minimizing the ability of U.S. dairy farmers to have full access to the benefits of USMCA. That needs to stop, and we look forward to working with the Biden Administration to ensure it does,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.

Canada is taking several actions in its administration of TRQs that undermine its USMCA obligations. Not providing fair or equitable procedures in administering the TRQs and reserving large shares of the quota for processors and so-called “further processors” are examples of how America’s dairy farmers and processors are losing out on the hard-fought USMCA benefits for U.S. dairy.

The comments to Global Affairs Canada, which provide recommendations on how Canada can reform its TRQ administration procedures to ensure full utilization of dairy quotas, follow joint NMPF, USDEC and IDFA comments to the Canadian agency in February 2020 and reflect NMPF’s ongoing attention to the issue. Last August, NMPF played a critical role in bicameral, bipartisan letters sent from Congress to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture urging them to ensure compliance of the dairy TRQs. USTR initiated the ongoing dispute settlement case as a result of these efforts.

Nominations are open for Fonterra’s board election but a repeat of the drama that rocked the vote three years ago can be ruled out.

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