International Cheese Council of Canada

Canadian Cheese Importers Object to Canada’s Proposal to Come into Compliance with CUSMA Report




OTTAWA, ON, March 4, 2022 – The International Cheese Council of Canada (ICCC) objects to Canada’s proposed changes to the current Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) dairy tariff rate quota (TRQ) allocation and administration policy.

Canada’s proposal follows the United States’ win in the first-ever CUSMA dispute settlement panel on January 4, 2022. In that ruling, the panelists found elements of Canada’s TRQ administration to be inconsistent with provisions of the agreement and recommended that Canada amend its TRQ allocation measures to come into compliance with CUSMA.

“The ICCC objects to Canada’s proposed changes to CUSMA’s dairy TRQ allocation and administration policy,” said Patrick Pelliccione, the ICCC’s Chairman. “Many of our Members and Associate Members are small and medium-sized Canadian enterprises, employing Canadians across the country. The ICCC was excited to use the market access negotiated under the trade agreement for the benefit of Canadians. But, Canada’s proposed changes, if implemented, will have a negative impact on Canadian importers and will produce unnecessarily higher prices for consumers.”

Under CUSMA, which came into force on July 1, 2020, Canada agreed to provide additional market access to the United States for supply-managed goods through the creation of two new cheese TRQs. Since then, however, Canada’s TRQ administration and allocation practices have effectively limited the realization of this granted market access, leading to this trade dispute. Unfortunately, Canada’s new proposal represents a continuation of these practices.

The International Cheese Council of Canada (ICCC) will continue to work with Canadian and American government officials to ensure that the amended TRQ allocation measures not only live up to Canada’s treaty obligations – but benefit Canadian consumers and importers.


About the International Cheese Council of Canada:

Based in Ottawa (Canada), the ICCC is an association of small- and medium-sized cheese importers and their suppliers. Founded in 1976, we are the only association in Canada exclusively dedicated to the importation of cheese into Canada. Our members are Canadian importers of cheese; our associate members are cheese producers and processors from various countries that have signed international trade treaties with Canada. The ICCC works to ensure that Canada’s cheese TRQs are put in the hands of those most likely to use it. Such an outcome increases quota fill rates – to everyone’s benefit. The ICCC has co-existed with Canada’s supply-managed dairy sector for over 45 years and recognizes the rationale underlying the supply management system – we are not advocating for the dismantling of the supply management.

Media Contact:

Marie Lemieux

Senior Advisor, International Cheese Council of Canada