On Tuesday, Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, and Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, issued the following statement in response to the release of the dispute settlement panel’s report under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) regarding Canada’s administration of its dairy tariff rate quota (TRQ) policies.

“We are pleased with the dispute settlement panel’s report, which ruled overwhelmingly in favour of Canada and its dairy industry. In particular, it is important to note that the panel expressly recognizes the legitimacy of Canada’s supply management system. The panel also confirms that Canada has the discretion to manage its TRQ allocation policies under CUSMA in a manner that supports Canada’s supply management system.

“We have taken note of the panel’s finding regarding Canada’s practice of reserving TRQ pools for the use of dairy processors. Our government, as it proceeds with the next steps in the process, will continue to work closely with the Canadian dairy industry. Canada takes its commitments and obligations under international agreements seriously. These include those that Canada has under CUSMA with the United States, Canada’s closest trading partner.

“The Government of Canada will continue to stand up for its dairy industry, farmers and workers and the communities they support, and it will continue to preserve, protect and defend the supply management system.”

The announcement follows the United States’ request for a dispute settlement panel on May 25, 2021.

Within 45 days of the final report—no later than February 3, 2022—the parties to the dispute settlement panel must endeavour to agree on a resolution of the dispute.

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