Pressure still on Canada to offer meaningful dairy access.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

July 24, 2015

2 Min Read
TPP negotiations going on in Hawaii

Trade ministers from countries involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will join chief negotiators on July 27 in a ministerial meeting in Hawaii. The meeting is scheduled to wrap up on July 31, but is open to the possibility that ministers could continue meeting past that date if it appears an agreement could be reached by doing so.

Reports have continued to indicate that Canada is not looking to back down on the U.S. demand of increased dairy market access, which former secretary of agriculture Clayton Yeutter, who also served as a U.S. Trade Representative, said could prevent a final deal from being closed in Hawaii.

Canada’s refusal on tariff reduction has also inspired some senators and national agriculture groups to urge USTR Ambassador Michael Forman to purse a final deal that does not include Canada, according to Steve Kopperud, executive vice president of Policy Directions.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) wrote a letter July 24 to Canadian ambassador Gary Doer outlining that Canada must agree to significantly expand market access for dairy products if they want their support for a final TPP agreement.

Wyden and Hatch said their support for a final TPP agreement that includes Canada is contingent on Canada’s ability to meet TPP’s high standards, including with respect to market access on dairy products. Nationally, the United States exports about $7 billion in dairy products annually, nearly half of which are destined for TPP countries. 

The senators said Canada has for decades protected its dairy market through a system that currently includes restrictive tariff rate quotas on dairy imports, charging prohibitive tariffs of 200 to more than 300% on imports that exceed the volume limits. Canada also maintains a host of nontariff barriers, including standards that favor the use of Canadian raw milk in cheese processing over U.S. milk powder.

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Assn. has continued to urge its government to be founding member of the TPP talks, saying it could be a game-changer for Canada’s beef producers.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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