On Tuesday, the US trade representative, Katherine Tai, announced plans to sue Canada over its controversial dairy practices, accusing the country of breaching the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, the continent’s updated free trade pact.
For years, Canada has strictly controlled the production of milk, butter and cheese through supply management – a complex system of production controls and tariffs meant to keep domestic prices stable. Imported products – such as American cheese – are slapped with a 300% levy.
While Canada has announced plans to allow more imports without hefty tariffs, Tai alleged that Canada is still using its complex system of licences and tariffs to favour Canadian producers rather than products from producers in other countries.
Canada’s trade minister, Mary Ng, said in a statement that she was “disappointed” at the decision and that her government would “protect and defend” the practice of supply management. Many of the farmers who benefit from the program are in the province of Quebec, a key electoral battleground.
To read the full article, please click here.