Western Caucus Members React To USMCA Dispute Panel Allowing Canadian Dairy Restrictions

Washington, November 28, 2023 | Eli Mansour (202 510-8612)
  • Cows

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Western Caucus members released the following statements in response to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) dispute settlement panel issuing their final report allowing Canadian dairy restrictions that prevent U.S. farmers’ market access to continue.

“I’m disappointed in the USMCA dispute panel’s ruling, allowing Canada to continue practicing unfair dairy restrictions,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “This decision harms our American dairy farmers who seek greater access to the Canadian market and allows Canada to continue to ignore their obligations under USMCA. This administration must utilize all available mechanisms under USMCA to eliminate this barrier and ensure American dairy exports are on a level playing field.”

“I am disappointed in today’s announcement and the decision of the dispute panel. It is critical the U.S. encourage and enforce USMCA, and this decision allows Canada to continue their questionable protectionist practices that disallow fair access to Canadian markets,” said Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15). “I appreciate Ambassador Tai and the Biden Administration’s continued pursuit to ensure fair market access for U.S. dairy producers.”

“The panel’s decision leaves in place a status quo of Canadian dairy restrictions that is simply unacceptable. American farmers deserve a level playing field, and Canada must uphold both the spirit and the letter of its obligations under USMCA. Improved agricultural market access and enhanced enforcement mechanisms were key victories achieved under the USMCA for American farmers and workers,” said Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Jason Smith (MO-08). “They were some of the many reasons the agreement received overwhelming bipartisan support. I will continue working with partners and stakeholders to ensure transparent and equitable access to Canadian markets for U.S. dairy producers.”

"The USMCA was intended to level the playing field between the three countries. I am extremely disappointed in the USMCA panel's decision and stand with America's dairy industry, who are being left at a disadvantage with regard to Canada's TRQ allocation measures," said Vice Chair Michelle Fischbach (MN-07). "Trade opportunities need to be increased, rather than stifled as they are in this decision, which favored Canada's historically restrictive structure. I will continue to work for increased market access for our dairy farmers in Canada and across the world."

“I remain fully supportive of Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack’s efforts to hold Canada to its USMCA commitments, and I am disappointed in the dispute settlement panel’s ruling. This decision does not take away from the panel’s 2022 determination that Canada breached its USMCA commitments with its dairy restrictions,” said Vice Chair Adrian Smith (NE-03). “Canada’s failure to come to the table and honor its USMCA commitments would have a lasting and negative impact on the bilateral and economic partnership between our countries. Market access is one of the most important components of our rules-based trading system, and I call on Canada to make the changes necessary to come into compliance.”

“It is entirely unacceptable that the current Canadian dairy restrictions harming U.S. farmers are allowed to continue. Our dairy farmers in Upstate New York and the North Country work hard to provide delicious and nutritious products for our communities and deserve the market access they were promised under USMCA,” said Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21). “This USMCA dispute panel’s decision allows the status quo to continue. This is untenable. I will continue to work to ensure that USMCA is enforced to allow fair market access for our dairy farmers.”

“USMCA was created to establish freer markets and fairer trade among our closest trading partners. I am disappointed in the panel’s decision that outright contradicts these goals by limiting access for U.S. dairy exports,” said Rep. Brad Finstad (MN-01). “U.S. dairy producers deserve the level playing field they were promised in this agreement. It is disappointing that our dairy farmers are now at a disadvantage because our largest trading partner has fallen short of the market access agreed to in the USMCA.”

"The USMCA panel’s decision ruling against American farmers is deeply concerning and sets a dangerous precedent," said Rep. Mike Simpson (ID-02). "Dairy farmers in Idaho and throughout the United States deserve the improved agricultural market access promised under this agreement. As co-chair of the Congressional Dairy Caucus, I remain committed to supporting dairy producers nationwide. I will continue to work to ensure fair market access for our dairy farmers and hold Canada to its USMCA commitments."

“It is unacceptable that Canada is not being held accountable for its failure to meet its obligations to the U.S. dairy industry under the USMCA,” said Rep. David Valadao (CA-22). “Our trade agreements only work if they are enforced, and we must use every tool at our disposal to ensure Canada holds up their end of the deal. I will continue working to protect fair market access for dairy farmers and manufacturers here in the Central Valley.”

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