The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has judged a dairy export subsidiary scheme established by the Canadian government as unfair.

Other countries, including New Zealand, are pushing for the WTO to take action over the scheme, and Jim Sutton, NZ Trade Negotiations minister, argues that the subsidies have cost domestic dairy products exporters up to NZ$80m (US$32.3m) every year.

Sutton expressed concern over the way wealthy countries can theoretically delay justice by abusing the system and referring the matter back to court. The Canadian authorities have a period of 60 days in which to appeal.

The WTO’s verdict on the Canadian subsidies was supposed to remain confidential until this Wednesday (11 July) but the news was leaked to the Canadian media.