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New Zealand escalates trade dispute with Canada over dairy TRQs

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Formal consultations were held in June, but Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said on Monday they had failed to resolve the issue.

New Zealand has now decided to request the establishment of a panel to hear and decide the dispute. New Zealand and Canada will now engage in a process to select three people to serve on the panel, while the other CPTPP countries will have 10 days to join the dispute as third parties.

“It’s ultimately about making sure our exporters can access the agreed benefits under the CPTPP,” O’Connor said. These are hard-won negotiated outcomes, and it is important that our exporters have the confidence and certainty that they can benefit from them.”

“New Zealand continues to value its strong friendship with Canada, one of our warmest and closest relationships in the world. This is a discrete business matter, and the CPTPP’s dispute resolution mechanisms provide us with a neutral forum to resolve it.

With primary exports worth $53 billion to New Zealand’s economy last year, O’Connor said it was important for the country’s economic security that the rules of trade agreements were followed.

“Canada is failing to meet its CPTPP commitments to allow dairy products into Canada. This impacts New Zealand exporters, who remain effectively shut out of the Canadian market, and Canadian consumers, who are deprived of increased consumer choice. promised by the CPTPP.”

The minister said in May that many of Canada’s tariff quotas had not been filled, representing a loss to New Zealand dairy exporters estimated at $68 million in the first two years. This was expected to increase year on year as the size of the quotas increased under the agreement.

In response to the New Zealand government’s decision in May, a spokeswoman for Canadian Trade Minister Mary Ng said her country was a “fair trade partner”.

“Our government will always stand up for Canada’s dairy industry, farmers and our supply management system,” she said in the Financial position as told. “We have always said that we will work with the industry and with New Zealand on this issue, and we will continue to do so.”

Newshub has contacted the Canadian High Commission for comment on New Zealand’s latest decision.

While New Zealand has previously brought disputes before the World Trade Organization (WTO), this is Aotearoa’s first dispute under a free trade agreement and the first by a party in the framework of the CPTPP.

New Zealand recently signed free trade agreements with the United Kingdom and the European Union. O’Connor said the government is working to ensure the potential of these deals is realized.