Washington, D.C. – Today, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer announced that the United States will be taking the first steps to address measures adopted by the Canadian government that are contrary to provisions outlined in the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA), and that are harmful to U.S. dairy farmers.
Congresswoman Stefanik previously lead House efforts to urge USTR to ensure that Canada was abiding by the spirit of the USMCA as it relates to their dairy obligations. The USMCA went into effect on July 1st, 2020. With today’s announcement, USTR is challenging Canada’s allocation of dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), which undermine the ability of U.S. dairy farmers to access a large portion of the Canadian dairy market. This first step requests consultations with the Government of Canada to engage in discussion over the measures through which Canada allocates its dairy TRQs under the USMCA.
“I am pleased that USTR and the administration have taken action on this issue that is so important to our North Country dairy farmers,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “While the USMCA provides key wins for North Country agricultural producers, manufacturers, and small businesses, we must continue to ensure that the provisions that were agreed upon are carried out in the manner that was intended by the agreement. I am encouraged by USTR’s announcement today and I look forward to continuing my advocacy on behalf of our dairy farmers to ensure they receive the market access that they were promised and deserve. I will continue to work with the administration and our Canadian counterparts to ensure that these commitments are fully upheld.”
“America’s dairy farmers help drive economic development in communities across the country, including in Upstate New York,” said Jim Mulhern, President & CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “So when our trade partners purposefully undermine their trade promises, it harms more than just our farmers – it’s devastating to the millions of Main Street jobs that depend on a strong dairy industry. That’s why it is so important that Canada is held accountable for administering its TRQ allocations in a way which runs contrary to both the letter and spirit of USMCA. I appreciate Representative Stefanik’s significant work with her colleagues and the U.S. government to fully enforce USMCA.”