Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Canada defends milk pricing

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has reacted to complaints from United States dairy leaders, saying Canadian milk prices are within the boundaries of the trade deal with the U.S. and Mexico.

And the International Dairy Foods Association said Canada is within the letter of the law, but the Americans say Canada is violating the spirit of the agreement by increasing exports.

“There’s a whole host of products globally that are produced using milk protein as an input and the exports of these products are now putting more Canadian protein on global markets to compete against our milk protein,” says Shawna Morris, vice president of trade policy for the U.S. Dairy Export Council and National Milk Producers Federation.

“Canada takes all of its international trade obligations very seriously, including its dairy obligations in the USMCA,” an AAFC spokesperson told Agri-Pulse publication after it reported on comments Allan Huttema, chairman of the board of directors for the Northwest Dairy Association and Darigold.

He blasted Canada for circumventing a USMCA provision that sought to limit Canadian milk protein exports with new thresholds and the elimination of the country’s class 6 and 7 milk pricing schemes.

Huttema said Canada replaced those low-price milk categories with class 4(a) for milk proteins that are being exported.