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New Zealand Dairy Exporters Celebrate CPTPP Win Over Canada

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is welcoming the legal ruling that Canada is not implementing its dairy market access commitments under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

"We applaud the clear ruling that Canada is not implementing the dairy access it agreed in CPTPP as it should be," says DCANZ Executive Director Kimberly Crewther.

The legal panel of three international trade law experts has upheld New Zealand’s claims that Canada is not complying with the agreement’s requirements to administer quotas in a manner that allows importers the opportunity to utilise the volumes fully, and to not limit access to a quota allocation to its processors.

"It is outrageous that Canada has sought to undercut the access it promised by reserving most of the quota quantities for domestic processors of those same products, who are least likely to import," says Crewther.

This legal dispute is the first of its kind under the CPTPP and underscores the importance of dispute provisions in trade agreements.

DCANZ represented its members in the legal process by submitting to the panel as a ‘non-governmental entity’. In its written views, DCANZ highlighted how the Canadian quota administration deliberately interfered with the willing-buyer-willing-seller relationship to deter dairy imports.

DCANZ expresses appreciation for the hard work and dedication of the New Zealand team behind the case.

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"Defending our access rights under all New Zealand trade agreements is important, and taking on a G7 country with a history of bending the rules has been no easy task," says Crewther.

Notwithstanding its welcoming of the case outcome, DCANZ is frustrated that, where dairy is concerned, Canada has a repeated pattern of needing to be legally compelled to adhere to its international trade commitments.

Following the panel report Canada is obliged to bring its system into compliance. It is essential for DCANZ that this occurs fully and without unnecessary delay.

"Canada’s failure to fulfil its obligations has robbed New Zealand exporters of trade opportunities for over four years now. DCANZ is calling on the Canadian Government to do the right thing by changing to a system that is fair and above board as soon as possible."

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