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International Cheese Council of Canada voices disappointment with government plan to change dairy tariff rate quota

The International Cheese Council of Canada (ICCC) says it is disappointed with the federal government’s plan to change the current dairy tariff rate quota (TRQ) allocation and administration policy under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement or Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

This proposal follows New Zealand’s historic win in the first-ever CPTPP dispute settlement panel on September 6, 2023, in which the panelists found elements of Canada’s TRQ administration to be inconsistent with provisions of the agreement, and recommended that Canada amend its TRQ allocation measures to come into compliance with CPTPP.

“The ICCC is disappointed with Canada’s proposed changes to CPTPP’s dairy TRQ allocation and administration policy,” said Joe Dal Ferro, the ICCC’s Chair. “Our members and associate members – small and medium-sized enterprises – have been left worse off by this exact system under CUSMA. We can’t believe our own government would do this to our industry once again, in the midst of a crisis –which they contributed to – the expiry of the Cheese Letters.”

Under CPTPP, which came into force on December 30, 2018, Canada agreed to provide additional market access for supply-managed goods to CPTPP parties with the creation of three new cheese TRQs. In practice, however, Canada’s TRQ administration and allocation practices have limited the realization of this granted market access, says ICCC. Canada’s proposed changes will continue to do so.

“The ICCC encourages Canada to allocate CPTPP quota to those most likely to use it – to the benefit of Canadian consumers and SMEs,” adds Dal Ferro.

In its statement ICCC says it “will continue to work with Canada and New Zealand’s government officials to ensure that the amended TRQ allocation measures not only live up to Canada’s treaty obligations – but benefit Canadian consumers and businesses.

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