Monday, October 19, 2015

Tories dissembled on TPP dairy imports

Stephen Harper misled dairy farmers about the full impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal when he said they would be yielding 3.2 per cent of their market.

They are, in fact, in line to yield an increase of 18.3 per cent in duty-free quotas.

It’s a fine piece of Tory dissembling – misleading the public while telling the truth.

The details have been learned by Canadian processing companies, but have not been shared with farmers who belong to marketing boards. My Ontario Farmer reporter colleague, Ian Cumming, got the goods from the United States.

Canada will establish 14 new permanent, TPP-wide (i.e. 11-nations) Tariff-Rate Quotas (TRQs), which will have in quota rates of zero per cent and will grow for 13 to 19 years before reaching maximum levels.

Tariff-free access volumes will increase over the full 19-year period, then plateau.

Information released by the United States is that TRQs will start at:
 butter 4,500 tons,
 fluid milk 50,000 tons,
cheese 14,500 tons,
low fat powders 7,500 tons,
yogurt 6,000 tons,
 concentrated milk 2,000 tons
 whey powder 6,000 tons.

These increases range from a one to three per cent growth by year six, with an additional compounded growth rate continuing until year 19.

Other dairy TRQ’s quantities will be set in year one, and from years two to 14 quantities will increase at the compounded growth rate.

These set quantities will be:
whole milk powder 1,000 tons,
 cream powder 100 tons,
 cream 500 tons,
 powdered buttermilk 750 tons,
natural milk constituents 4,000 tons,
ice cream and ice cream powders 1,000 tons
 other dairy 1,000 tons.

The report also noted that, “Canada will reserve substantial portions of the TRQ’s for butter (85 per cent) fluid milk (85 per cent) cheese (55 per cent) and yogurt (30 per cent) for processing use.”

The U.S. will eliminate  tariffs on high-value Canadian artisanal cheese over 10 years. Also “new TRQ’s will be established for other dairy products under terms similar to those used by Canada,” the information released by the U.S. government says.

For product from Canada allowed into the U.S., the negotiated rates were: butter 4,500 tons, cheese 18,000 tons, skim milk powder 12,000 tons, whole milk powder 4,000 ton, concentrated milk and cream 2,000 tons, dried yogurt, whey, sour cream and natural milk constituents 12,500 tons, fluid products including ice cream 8.5 million litres and other dairy 7,500 tons.

The U.S. will also reserve 55 per cent of its cheese TRQ and 85 per cent of its butter TRQ for product in non-retail sized packages.