Washington, DC—Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Tom Reed (R-NY), Antonio Delgado (D-NY), Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Jim Costa (D-CA), and David Valadao (R-CA) sent a bipartisan letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack calling on them to move forward with enforcement measures negotiated in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to support U.S. dairy farmers.
A core component of USMCA was the agreement’s promise of new export opportunities for America’s dairy industry and the introduction of fairer trade rules to ensure American-made dairy exports can compete on an even playing field. However, it’s crucial that the Administration holds our neighboring trading partners accountable to their trade commitments and thus far Canada has not taken actions to alter its dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) to bring them into compliance with USMCA, undermining the ability of American dairy farmers and producers to sell a wide range of products to Canadian consumers. Immediate use of USMCA’s enforcement measures is necessary to ensure Canada delivers on their obligations in a way that’s fully consistent with the spirit and letter of the agreement.
“USMCA is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work in a bipartisan manner to get things done, and the agreement made key advancements for our dairy farmers,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “However, I’ve long said trade agreements are only as strong as their enforcement and we need to make sure our trading partners live up to their end of the deal. It’s critical that the Administration advances enforcement action to fulfill the promises made to our dairy farmers and send a clear message that the agreements our nation signs into law will be fully implemented.”
“Exports have become tremendously important to Wisconsin’s dairy sector, which is why USMCA was an important step forward in opening up more market opportunities for our high-quality dairy products. Our dairy farmers are counting on a fair shake and for our trading partners to live up to the commitments they made. Congressman Kind has been a true leader in championing the need for our trade agreements to work in practice, not just on paper. We appreciate his continued focus on working to ensure that dairy farmers and processors see the full benefits of this trade agreement,” said Alexia DeVries, AMPI board member and dairy farmer from Melrose, Wis.
Last year, Rep. Kind led a bipartisan letter urging swift implementation of the dairy provisions in USMCA, and he spent years working to make sure the USMCA is fully enforceable to guarantee increased access to the Canadian dairy market, improve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) standards, ensure a faster and more enforceable dispute settlement process, and increase labor and environmental standards. Rep. Kind also released a Family Farm Rescue Plan in 2020, which called for swift implementation of USMCA.
Rep. Kind serves on the Subcommittee on Trade for the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful – and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.
Read the bipartisan letter here.