NEW YORK (WWTI) — United States Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are expressing concerns regarding Canada and Mexico dodging recent dairy trade commitments.
The two Senators called on U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer and United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to ensure accountability under trade commitments that went into effect July 1, 2020. Both worry that recent actions from the two countries will impact Upstate New York Dairy farmers.
“Dairy is New York’s primary agricultural product and our rural economies depend on the survival of the industry, but poor implementation of USMCA provisions on dairy will harm our dairy farmers and make it even harder for them to recover from this crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand. ” Secretary Perdue and USTR Ambassador Lighthizer must hold our trading partners accountable and ensure equitable trading practices for America’s dairy farmers.”
According to Senator Schumer and Senator Gillibrand, the United States- Mexico- Canada Agreement, Canada has agreed to expand tariff-rate quotas for U.S. dairy products, as well as the elimination of Class 6 ad 7 pricing within 6 months.
“New York’s dairy farmers are the lifeblood of the Upstate economy, but unfortunately they have been squeezed by the economic effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Senator Schumer. “The trade deal entered into force two months ago, and there can be no further delays to ensuring our New York dairy farmers can sell their products, unimpeded by unfair trade barriers, into Canada and Mexico and churn up profits that mitigate the huge losses they have suffered this year.”
Schumer confirmed that Dairy Farmers of Ontario requested access to pricing regulations which he believes raises questions regarding whether Canada is seeking to circumvent its commitment to USMCA.
The Senators also stated that although Mexico has confirmed a list of over 30 terms for cheese to remain available as common names for U.S. producers, there remains uncertainty in how Mexico will translate its commitment to protect the names into regulations.
Schumer and Gillibrand sent a letter to Robert E.Lighthizer and Sonny Perdue on September 14, 2020.
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