Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Tom Reed (R-NY), Antonio Delgado (D-NY), Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA), Suzan DelBene (D-WA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Jim Costa (D-CA), and David G. Valadao (R-CA) called on U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack to ensure Canada lives up to its commitments under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In January, a USMCA panel ruled in favor of the United States and found that Canada was breaching its commitments by reserving most of its dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for the exclusive use of Canadian processors. Canada recently announced proposed changes for dairy TRQs as a result of this decision, but their response continues to fall short and effectively preserves the status quo. In order to demonstrate that the USMCA enforcement process works – not just to deliver the right findings but also to ensure faithful implementation of the overall agreement – the lawmakers are urging Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack to insist on deeper reforms to bring Canada’s dairy TRQ allocation system into compliance.
“Earlier this year, the Biden Administration helped deliver a historic win for our dairy farmers when a USMCA panel agreed that Canada was breaching its commitments and improperly limiting access to its dairy market. Unfortunately, Canada’s response doesn’t go nearly far enough in making the necessary reforms,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “The decisions we make next will send a clear signal to our trading partners regarding future dispute panels and the degree of compliance we’ll require. A deal’s a deal – it’s not too much to ask that our trading partners live up to their end of the bargain. I’ll keep fighting to ensure our Wisconsin dairy farmers are able to compete on the even playing field they deserve and see the full benefits of the USMCA.”
“We care about our New York dairy farmers and want to ensure that they are getting fair treatment under the USMCA that opens the Canadian market to their products. Canada’s response to their violations of the USMCA has been inadequate and they must be held accountable to the full terms of this agreement. We need to send a clear message that this is not just a piece of paper, that when America enters a trade agreement, we will enforce that agreement,” said Rep. Tom Reed.
“The USMCA is a critical agreement for dairy farmers in Upstate New York,” said Rep. Antonio Delgado. “While I was happy to see the USMCA panel move forward with enforcement measures to ensure Canada followed its for dairy tariff-rate quotas, I’m disappointed that Canada’s proposal falls short of what is required in the USMCA. I will continue pushing for support for our upstate dairy farmers on this matter.”
“Dairy production is a key aspect of Pennsylvania’s economy and it is imperative that our dairy farmers and manufacturers have access to reliable dairy markets under the USMCA. I appreciate the strong action taken to enforce our current trade agreement because American farmers need leaders who will ensure our trading partners live up to their end of the bargain,” said Rep. Glenn “G.T.” Thompson.
“Washington dairy farmers rightly celebrated when the Biden administration’s prevailed in the first-ever USMCA dispute against Canada for unfairly restricting American exports. Unfortunately, Canada still isn’t complying with the spirit of the agreement. Its latest proposal does not meaningfully reform the unfair practices. Democrats and Republicans both worked hard to push USMCA over the finish line, but American dairy farmers won’t reap the benefits of this agreement unless it is fully enforced. I will continue to advocate for Washington’s dairy farmers until Canada is in full compliance with USMCA,” said Rep. Suzan DelBene.
“The U.S., Mexico, and Canada spent months negotiating terms in the USMCA – Canada needs to live up to its obligations in the agreement. Our dairy producers deserve certainty,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson.
“As Chair of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture, it is one of my top priorities to ensure American agriculture producers are treated fairly in international trade. The United States—Mexico – Canada agreement was agreed upon all parties, and it should be fully enforced. I will continue to coordinate with the Biden Administration to ensure all provisions of this agreement are upheld fairly,” said Rep. Jim Costa.
“The USMCA was negotiated to benefit America and Canada alike, but our dairy industry won’t see the benefits unless Canada upholds their end of the deal. We need to enforce our trade agreements to protect fair market access for dairy farmers and manufacturers in the Central Valley. As the representative of our nation’s largest dairy district, I will continue working to ensure Canada upholds their commitments to the U.S. dairy industry,” said Rep. David Valadao.
Read the full letter here.
Earlier this year, Rep. Kind led a bipartisan letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack calling on them to move forward with the enforcement measures negotiated in the USMCA to ensure Canada delivered on its obligations under the agreement and brought its dairy tariff-rate quotas into compliance.
He also 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 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.