U.S. dairy groups want to retaliate against Canada

U.S. dairy groups say Canada is continuing to reject obligations set within the U.S. Mexico Canada agreement and retaliation is needed.

Becky Rasdall with the International Dairy Foods Association tells Brownfield Canada is moving ahead with their proposed changes to their dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) despite continued objections from the U.S.

“It’s slightly different than what they proposed in March, but still has the same qualities that we disagree with,” she says.

During a call with reporters Monday, Ag Secretary Vilsack called the second proposal by Canada unacceptable pointing to retail exclusions.

“The TRQ was to be made available to all eligible applications, with the definition of an eligible applicant being any entity that was active in the food and agriculture industry in Canada, which certainly would include retail,” he says.

Over the weekend, Vilsack met with his Canadian counterpart at the G7 Summit to express his disappointment and says the issue is ongoing.

Rasdall says, unfortunately, while the U.S. had a wide number of objections to Canada’s dairy trade policy in the USMCA, the original dispute only ruled on one issue and clearly, Canada is still not playing by the rules.

“We actually think there are even more obligations the United States could have filed on initially than they actually did so there’s plenty of room for improvement,” she says.

Rasdall adds Canada taking a stance on U.S. legislative proposals regarding electric vehicles in its modification is unacceptable trade policy which the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA also need to weigh in on.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) are now asking the U.S. government to levy retaliatory tariffs on Canada for failing to meet its USMCA obligations.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative is also asking trade officials to hold Canada accountable on the issue.

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