Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Tom Reed (23rd District of New York)
Washington, DC —Today, Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY), Ron Kind (D-WI), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Russ Fulcher (R-ID), Xochitl Torres Small (D-NM), Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), and 96 of their colleagues sent a bipartisan letter to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue urging them to swiftly implement the measures negotiated for the dairy industry in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
The USMCA’s recent entry into force will give farmers increased access to the export markets they need, create an even playing field for dairy farmers, and keep jobs in the United States. However, in order to make sure the dairy industry sees the full benefits of this agreement, it’s crucial that the Administration holds Canada and Mexico accountable to their trade commitments by implementing enforcement provisions. Immediate use of USMCA’s consultation and enforcement measures is necessary to ensure our trading partners deliver on their obligations in a way that’s fully consistent with the spirit and letter of the agreement.
“USMCA represents a massive win for American dairy farmers and our country’s agricultural industry. Now, we must all work together to leverage every enforcement mechanism at our disposal to ensure our allies adhere to the deal and end their restrictive trade practices. As the dairy industry continues to fight through the economic impacts of COVID-19, it is only fair our dairy farmers have the opportunity to enjoy the full benefits of this landmark trade deal,” said Rep. Tom Reed.
“USMCA is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work across the aisle to get things done, and its implementation makes key advancements for our dairy farmers,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “However, our work has truly just begun. Especially during these challenging times, we must ensure Wisconsin farmers, workers, and families are able to reap the full benefits of this agreement. It’s critical that the Administration follow closely on implementation and enforcement to ensure Canada and Mexico hold up their end of the deal.”
“If implemented properly and enforced fully, USMCA will bring greater benefits to our dairy farmers, processors and exporters and help restore certainty to our rural communities. That is why it is so important that the U.S. government proactively use USMCA’s enforcement mechanisms to ensure the deal is implemented in both letter and spirit. Thank you, Congressman Reed, for leading this bipartisan letter and supporting New York’s dairy industry.” said Daniel J. Wolf, dairy farmer and President and Chairman of the Board for Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc.
“America’s dairy farmers are looking forward to the important benefits and new opportunities that USMCA will bring to our rural communities after a tough year. This is why it is so critical that USMCA’s dairy provisions are implemented efficiently and thoroughly enforced. We applaud Congressmen Kind, Reed, Peterson, Thompson, Brindisi, Fulcher, Torres Small, and Gonzalez for leading this letter and working in a bipartisan manner to secure the full potential of this deal for all of America’s dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, President & CEO, National Milk Producers Federation.
“The finalization of USMCA was a boon for dairy farmers, processors and exporters as it ushered in modernized rules and restored certainty to the North American dairy trade. The bipartisan effort led by Congressmen Kind, Reed, Peterson, Thompson, Brindisi, Fulcher, Torres Small, and Gonzalez to help ensure we hold Canada and Mexico accountable to their trade commitments is important to fully reaping these hard-fought gains. We will continue to work alongside Congress and the U.S. Administration to secure Canada’s compliance in reforming its destructive dairy trade policies and to solidify market-access for common name cheeses in Mexico,” said Tom Vilsack, President & CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Specifically, the lawmakers are calling on USTR Lighthizer and Secretary Perdue to enforce:
Canada must administer its Dairy Tariff Quota (TRQ) fairly and in a manner consistent with its obligations under USMCA.
Canada must adhere to their agreement to eliminate their Class 6 and 7 dairy programs, and cannot be permitted to effectively recreate these harmful pricing programs.
Mexico must uphold its commitment via two USMCA side letters pertaining to commonly used cheese names, making sure all prior users’ rights are upheld and that all common cheese names specified under the agreement are respected.
Read the bipartisan letter here.