WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWTI) — Representative Stefanik is pushing for full enforcement of dairy provisions in an agreement between the United States, Mexico and Canada.
On May 24, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sent a letter to the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, encouraging her to fully enforce dairy provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement.
According to Stefanik, Canada’s allocation of dairy tariff-rate quotas “undermines the ability of U.S. dairy farmers to access a large portion of the Canadian dairy market.”
Stefanik commented on how this specifically impacts farmers in the North Country.
“North country dairy farmers deserve the market access they were promised as part of the USMCA signing. The USTR must ensure that our Canadian counterparts are abiding by their part of the agreement, and I will continue to work with the administration to ensure these commitments are fully upheld,” stated Congresswoman Stefanik.
In her letter to USTR Tai, Stefanik claimed that New York farmers “have faced numerous challenges over the past year,” and “farmers need expanded market access in order to sell their product.”
Stefanik previously led U.S. House of Representatives efforts to ensure that Canada was abiding by the USMCA.
Her full letter to the the United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai can be read below:
Dear Ambassador Tai:
I appreciate your recent comments and recognition that enforcement of our trade agreements is of the utmost importance so that we ensure that Americans are able to enjoy their full benefits. This is particularly essential for new agreements such as the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement so that compliance shortfalls are addressed at the outset.
To that end, I encourage you to move forward with using USMCA’s enforcement tools to secure Canada’s compliance with its dairy market access commitments. Canada’s failure to meet USMCA’s dairy tariff rate quota requirements continues to have negative impacts on dairy farmers and processors across the country that are counting on the full market access that this agreement provides. The fact that USMCA does not ultimately establish entirely open access to the Canadian dairy market makes it more critical that the U.S. dairy industry is able to fully maximize the access the agreement does provide.
New York dairy producers, especially those located along the northern border that I represent, have faced numerous challenges over the past year, 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. Our farmers need expanded market access in order to sell their product, and they were promised this market access as part of USMCA. In order to help our farmers recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must deliver on the trade promises that were made to them.
I strongly supported the U.S. Trade Representative Office’s decision late last year to initiate formal consultations with Canada regarding the fact that it has not implemented its dairy tariff rate quota obligations in a manner consistent with USMCA. Since then, however, Canada has repeatedly made clear that it has no intention to change those policies. This is precisely why we have strong dispute settlement procedures in our trade agreements – to take action when countries intentionally refuse to adhere to their commitments to the United States.
Thank you for addressing this issue with your Canadian counterpart during bilateral USMCA discussions. I urge you to move forward swiftly to enforce our USMCA dairy market access rights with Canada and signal to them how seriously the U.S. takes the terms of its trade agreements.
Sincerely,Congresswoman Elise Stefanik
The U.S.-Mexico Canada Agreement went into effect on July 1, 2020.