Milk Swirl
June 27, 2017

International Community Ratchets Up Pressure On Canada over Dairy Trade Policy

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Ten dairy industry groups, including seven from outside the United States, are urging their governments’ trade ministers to intercede over Canada’s recent trade actions to dump dairy products on the world market. Contents of the letter can be read here.

In addition to the National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the International Dairy Foods Association, dairy groups from Argentina, Australia, the European Union, Mexico and New Zealand are participating in the effort.

Earlier this year, Canada implemented a Class 7 pricing policy that effectively lowers the price of milk ingredients both for Canadian processors and world markets. As a result, exports of milk protein concentrates from the United States into Canada stopped May 1, causing a disruption of milk flow in New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dozens of dairy farmers were forced to find new markets for their milk.

The letter sent to trade ministers said, in part: “Our respective dairy industries are firmly of the view that the operation of Ontario’s Class 6 and Class 7 contravene Canada’s international commitments. Canada’s increasingly protectionist policies are diverting trade with attendant global price depressing impacts, and are in conflict with the principles of free markets and fair and transparent trade.”

Jim Mulhern, NMPF CEO and President, says “Canada’s revised dairy policy amounts to a ‘beggar-thy-neighbor’ approach, damaging not just its neighbor to the south, but also causing harm to other major dairy exporting countries around the world. This policy must stop now, before any more damage is done to American farmers and those from other nations seeking to compete on a level global play field.”

 

Comments

“Canada upholds our international trade obligations. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the U.S. has duty-free and quota-free access for milk protein substances, including diafiltered milk. This duty-free and quota free access has not changed.”

“The national ingredient strategy is industry-driven and was developed between dairy producers and processors.” Hence, there should be clarity between “Canada”, which implies the federal government, and the Canadian dairy industry.

Comment submitted by Oliver Anderson
Policy and Communications Advisor (Ontario) / Conseiller en politiques et communications (Ontario)
Minister’s Office / Cabinet du ministre
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