New Zealand wins WTO case against Canada

  • Jim Sutton
Trade Negotiations

“This is an excellent result for New Zealand” Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said. “Canada’s illegal export subsidies cost New Zealand about US$35 million per year.”

This latest decision in New Zealand’s favour is the result of several years of litigation between New Zealand and Canada over Canada’s dairy export scheme. The current dispute concerned a scheme Canada devised to replace one that had been ruled illegal by the WTO in 1999. The Appellate Body confirmed an earlier ruling, appealed by Canada, that the replacement scheme also breached WTO rules.

“Canada must now remove the export subsidies” said Mr Sutton. “We now expect Canada to act swiftly and bring itself into compliance. I would expect nothing less from a country which has demonstrated such commitment to the rule of international law and to the effectiveness of the WTO system.”

“I am confident that Canada will not try to circumvent the WTO’s rulings a second time and that New Zealand will not have to follow through with retaliation action. Canada should be aware, however, that we are determined that it should meet its commitments.”

This victory, yet another New Zealand success in WTO dispute settlement, underlines the importance of the WTO rules based trading system.