Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today called on United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai to reject Canada’s proposed changes to their dairy tariff-rate-quotas (TRQ) under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Under Canada’s updated proposal, which was released March 2, these changes do not ensure expanded market access or provide American dairy producers with the market access they were promised under USMCA.
“Dairy producers across the country, including those in Upstate New York and the North Country, have faced significant challenges over the past few years, specifically with the supply chain disruptions and the need to alter their businesses in order to operate safely as essential components of our food supply,” Stefanik wrote. “They need the expanded market access they were promised as part of USMCA. Therefore, I urge you to reject this proposal and continue to work to ensure Canada abides by its original commitments under the agreement.”
In January 2022, following Stefanik’s advocacy, a USMCA dispute settlement panel ruled in favor of the United States that Canada is breaching its commitments under the USMCA by unfairly administering dairy tariff-rate quotas in a way that harms American dairy farmers.
“New York Farm Bureau appreciates Rep. Stefanik's outreach on behalf of dairy farmers in her district and across the state. We are simply looking for free trade with Canada as outlined under USMCA to ensure fair market access for our producers," said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.
In May 2021, Stefanik sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai, encouraging USTR to fully enforce dairy provisions in the USMCA. Following Stefanik’s advocacy, USTR announced in January that the agency established a Dispute Settlement Panel to consider Canada’s failure to comply with dairy tariff-rate quota provisions in the USMCA. January’s decision resulted from the creation of this panel.
Read the full letter here.