Advertisement

U.S. tests CUSMA, issues challenge to Canada’s dairy quotas

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on U.S. trade on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, June 17, 2020, in Washington. If the long-awaited debut of Canada's new trade pact with the United States and Mexico augurs a new dawn in North American relations, Robert Lighthizer sure has a funny way of showing it. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, New York Times Anna Moneymaker, Pool. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, New York Times Anna Moneymaker, Pool

The United States is formally accusing Canada of unfairly limiting the ability of American dairy producers to sell their products north of the border.

Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump‘s trade ambassador, says the U.S. has made a formal request for consultations to address Canada’s limits on a variety of dairy products.

Read more: Ottawa offering up $691M for egg, poultry farmers hurt by trade deals

It’s a step toward setting up a dispute resolution panel, which would be the first of its kind under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which took effect in July.

Click to play video 'Trudeau praises new CUSMA trade agreement, coming into force on Wednesday' Trudeau praises new CUSMA trade agreement, coming into force on Wednesday
Trudeau praises new CUSMA trade agreement, coming into force on Wednesday – Jun 29, 2020

The U.S. Dairy Export Council complained in June that Canada’s so-called tariff-rate quotas deny American farmers rightful access to markets north of the border.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more: New NAFTA will impact auto, dairy and digital sector. Here’s how

The council says the rates discourage the importing of certain high-value products, and give market access to competitors with little incentive to take advantage.

The federal Liberal government has insisted that the quotas are well within the bounds of the agreement.