November 27, 2018 –

Canada’s dairy processors welcome the Government of Canada’s decision to allocate a significant portion of Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) dairy import licenses to dairy processors.

“While we would prefer the decision to be effective on a permanent basis, we nevertheless recognise that this is an important step in the right direction,” says Mathieu Frigon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC). “This decision paves the way to a review of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) decision next year, along with a renewal of the CPTPP allocation and a possible decision on the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA).”

Under CPTPP, Canada agreed to 3.25% dairy market access to Transpacific trading partners. This is in addition to the market access agreed to as part of CETA, where the government gave more than half of dairy import licenses to non-dairy stakeholders. Available data shows that this decision has not resulted in Canada meeting its import commitments, but has resulted in a displacement of Canadian products on retail shelves.

“The CPTPP, just like CETA and USMCA, will not benefit Canada’s domestic dairy sector. The best we can hope for is to mitigate the negative impacts,” says Mr. Frigon. “Dairy processors are committed to making Canada’s trade commitments work for everyone: dairy processors, dairy farmers, and Canadian consumers.”

Canadian dairy farmers also expressed optimism following the announcement. “The allocation of tariff rate quotas has to take into account the negative impact from trade deals on the dairy sector. Although this announcement demonstrates an improvement compared to the approach taken following the agreement with the European Union, its measure will be in how all stakeholders benefit from support to mitigate the impacts,” said Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

DPAC has made it clear that the allocation of dairy import licenses to dairy processors is a key component of mitigating the negative impacts that any trade agreement Canada signs will have on the sector. As a member of the recently announced Dairy Sector Working Groups, DPAC will work to ensure that discussions on mitigation measures explore all other components to mitigate the impacts of CPTPP and USMCA to support the long-term success of dairy processors of all sizes.


About the Dairy Processors Association of Canada

The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) is Canada’s national industry association representing the public policy and regulatory interest of the Canadian dairy processing industry. DPAC’s members represent some of the most recognized food brands in Canada.