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NMPF Continues Push to Hold Canada Accountable for Trade Commitments

November 16, 2016

Canada’s intention to change its milk pricing policies to discourage U.S. exports continues to draw sharp opposition from NMPF, as well as other U.S. leaders concerned with looming policy changes in Canada affecting both imports and exports.

In addition to Canada’s latest proposal to restrict a range of dairy product imports from the U.S., the country has also moved forward with plans to dump skim milk powder onto global markets in excess of Canada’s international obligations under the World Trade Organization. NMPF’s objections to these behaviors have also been echoed by leaders in Congress, and more recently, by governors and state agriculture department executives.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a letter last month to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wrote: “I urge you to ensure that any new Canadian program does not follow the flawed approach of seeking to solve the challenges of Canada's dairy industry by creating barriers that hamper the exports of products from New York's dairy industry.”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also publicly condemned Canada’s actions: “We know these policies violate current trade agreements and put our U.S. producers at an unfair disadvantage. Canadian friends must understand that our current and future trade relationships depend on their compliance with the agreements they've signed.”

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture also challenged Canada’s dairy actions at the recent Tri-National Accord meeting between the U.S., Canada and Mexico, noting in its release: “These developments raise serious questions about Canada’s compliance with international trade obligations under both the WTO and NAFTA, and threaten the principles negotiated under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).”

Canada’s actions were also mentioned in NMPF’s annual joint submission (along with the U.S. Dairy Export Council) of various nontariff trade concerns to the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office last month. The filing – at almost two dozen pages – extensively details trade issues in various key export markets with the primary focus on those issues that hold the near-term potential for resolution such as unjustified nontariff barriers to trade.