Monday, May 13, 2019

Comments open on import quotas

Global Affairs Canada has opened a public comment period about regulating imports of dairy and poultry products.

The imports are controlled via federal-government permits.

Those who hold these permits have made small fortunes because they buy dairy and poultry products at rock-bottom world prices and sell them in Canada at supply-management inflated prices.

Canadian prices are higher because of tariffs of between 200 and 300 per cent, meaning that a product bought for $1 on the world market would face a border tax of $2 to $3.

Those who hold import permits argue that the increases in those quotas arising out of new trade deals with the United States, the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership ought to come to them.

Supply-management agencies are lobbying to get their hands on these quota increases.

And so far the federal government has done a combination of giving some of them out to existing quota holders and sprinkling the rest among Canadian processing companies.

Europeans have complained that this approach has left some of the new quota unfilled, resulting in lesser export volumes than they anticipated.