Written for North Country Now on August 17, 2020

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik has sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer urging them to take swift action to ensure that both Canada and Mexico abide by the spirit and letter of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) as it relates to their obligations to dairy.

Last month, Congresswoman Stefanik led a similar letter, requesting for USTR to ensure that Canada does not distribute tariff-rate quotas (TRQ’s), which undermine the intent of the dairy provisions of the USMCA by hindering the ability of the U.S. dairy industry to fully utilize the Canadian market access that the trade agreement provides.

The letter also urges the USTR to ensure that Canada upholds its end of the agreement by eliminating the Class 6 and 7 milk price classification in a way that ensures that the harmful classifications do not reappear under a different name at some point in the future.

“Our dairy farms, processors, and the businesses they support are essential to the success of our rural communities and economies,” said Congresswoman Stefanik.

“Our North Country dairy farmers need fair and reasonable trade policies to keep market access with two very important trading partners, Canada and Mexico. I will continue to urge USDA and USTR to ensure that Canada and Mexico are held accountable and required to abide by the dairy provisions set forth in the USMCA. I will also continue to advocate for our North Country dairy producers and other agribusinesses as they recover from the market disruptions and financial strain that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.”

You can read the full article at https://www.northcountrynow.com