December 11, 2020

Federal Action on Dairy Trade Case Announced Following Crapo Request

Crapo Joined Senators Grassley, Smith, others seeking review of Canadian market access for U.S. dairy producers

Washington, D.C.--The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced it will take enforcement actions over charges that Idaho and other U.S. dairy producers are denied proper access to markets in Canada.  The decision follows requests led by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, and colleagues in the Senate. 

The actions initiated by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be the first enforcement steps by the U.S. under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that went into effect earlier this year.  The trade case involves Canada’s failure to implement market access provisions for dairy products under the USMCA.  

“Fair market access for American dairy farmers was a key pillar of the USMCA’s agriculture section,” wrote Crapo and 24 other senators in a letter to USTR in August, adding, “”Effective implementation will be critical…” 

Crapo and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) praised the USTR decision earlier this week.  U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) were also signees on the August letter. 

“We applaud U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer’s commitment to the fair and transparent enforcement of USMCA,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation.  “Only when Canada is held fully accountable to its trade commitments will America’s dairy farmers be able to realize the full benefit of the provisions that the U.S. worked so hard to secure.  We appreciate Senator Crapo’s leadership to ensure Canada’s full compliance with USMCA’s dairy provisions.” 

Idaho is the nation’s third largest dairy producing state, after California and Wisconsin.  A study from the University of Idaho this year projected milk production as Idaho’s largest cash crop, worth more than $2.3 billion in 2019. 

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