Canada’s refusal to comply with the terms of our trade agreement is a betrayal of our friendship.

It’s hard to think of two countries with warmer relations than New Zealand and Canada. Our shared history and cultural similarities ought to be the basis of a close, good-faith relationship. But on trade, Canada is shutting us out.

Canada signed the CPTPP knowing their exporters would benefit from reduced barriers to trade. But free trade is meant to go both ways, and Canada has so far failed to remove barriers to our dairy exports as agreed.

In September, Canada was told by the CPTPP Panel that it was failing to keep up its end of the deal. Canada was given a deadline of this week to comply with the terms of the deal, but their new tariff rules continue to shield the Canadian dairy sector from healthy competition.

Free trade is a win-win. Kiwi dairy farmers are happy to send competitively priced products to Canada, where consumers would enjoy the benefits of greater choice and competition. And we happily accept imports from our Canadian friends, knowing that when two friends trade, both are better off.

ACT welcomes the Trade Minister’s confirmation that he is seeking advice on next steps. We cannot allow Canadian disloyalty to set an example for other signatories of our trade agreements. If Canada can’t comply with the terms of a formal agreement, they should be booted out of the deal.

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