US Dairy Industry Supports US Dispute Panel Against Canada
The US-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement was intended to gain free access among the three countries. But according to Senior Vice President of member services and Strategic Initiatives with the National Milk Producers Federation, Chris Galan, he says issues remain with Canada living up to their side of the deal when it comes to dairy trade.
“Back in 2021. Now, almost two years ago, we were able to get a dispute panel which is designed to adjudicate disputes between the countries if one of the countries doesn't feel like it's being treated fairly under the agreement, they can have a dispute panel basically like a court here their case and rule either in favor of the complaint or not. We actually got a favorable ruling two years ago when we took Canada to court as it were with a dispute panel about access for our dairy products. Canada made some cosmetic changes in their program, their dairy program, but it didn't really result in any additional sales. And so now we've asked for a second dispute settlement panel and this is the US government going to Canada and saying, Hey, you guys are abiding by the terms of the agreement.”
The dispute panel could take up to six months to report their findings. If Canada is found in violation, the US can retaliate.
“Which basically would mean us choking off exports of products or Canada sent us whether it's agricultural products or alcoholic products or lumber.”
Galen says usually it does not come to that most likely Canada will be prompted to import more dairy products.