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May 4, 2016

Canadian Parliament Votes Down Measure to Bar U.S. MPC Imports

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The Liberal Party of Canada used its clout yesterday to deny a motion to stop the importation of milk protein concentrates (MPCs) from the United States. But Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAualy said he would work with the Canadian dairy industry to come up with a long-term solution.

MPCs, or diafiltered milk, have been entering Canada defined as a protein ingredient, rather than as a milk product. As such, the Canadian Border Services Agency has allowed its importation. While Canadian trade rules tightly regulate dairy imports, the importation of MPCs has consistently helped place Canada as the number two or three trade destination for U.S. dairy exports over the past several years.

Yesterday, Quebec dairy farmers blocked access to a Parmalat cheese factory in Montreal in protest over MPC imports.

The U.S. dairy industry has been worried Canada will block MPC imports ahead of ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). If approved, TPP would give the U.S. access to about 3% of the Canadian dairy market.

The Canadian government did announce yesterday that it would begin discussions with Canadian dairy farmers for the loss of revenue that results from the new Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union. The previous Conservative Government had promised $4.3 billion in compensation to Canadian farmers for losses incurred under CETA, but no money was included in the new Liberal government’s budget.