U.S. defeats Canada in first dispute under new North American trade pact
The issue is dairy. U.S. says Canada not fairly implementing changes it promised, and could face tariffs
Canada has lost the first-ever dispute case under the new North American trade agreement, with a panel siding with the U.S. and saying Ottawa flouted part of its obligation to open the dairy market.
The three-member panel — made up of a Uruguayan diplomat who was once ambassador to Canada, a Canadian trade lawyer based in the U.S., and a U.S. trade lawyer named to the panel by Canada — agreed that Canada violated its promise to allow slightly more dairy imports by imposing unfairly complicated rules.
The U.S. says Canada now has a few weeks to comply with the ruling, or face the possibility of a trade penalty such as a tariff.
The finding comes amid a succession of trade disputes between the countries that risk souring the bilateral relationship.
“We prevailed — as we thought we would,” a senior official in the U.S. Trade Representative’s office told reporters in a briefing Tuesday.
“Now the goal is to work with Canada.… The end goal is not to put retaliatory tariffs in place.”
The report was released to the countries in a full confidential version just before the holidays, on Dec. 20; a 53-page public version was released Tuesday.
The Canadian government also claimed a partial victory: It noted that the panel otherwise upheld Canada’s system of supply management of its dairy sector.
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Source: CBC News
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