Photo of Milk Powder.
April 27, 2017

Sixty eight Congressmen Urge President to Take ‘Swift Action’ on Canadian Dairy Issue

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

Sixty eight Congressmen sent a letter to President Trump yesterday, urging him “to take swift action to hold Canada to its trade commitments.…”

The letter states: “As your administration crafts NAFTA priorities, we must ensure that our trade partners maintain compliance with ongoing agreements.”

The letter came shortly after Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which reportedly included a discussion of dairy issues.

Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, lauded the  Congressional letter, saying, “We very much appreciate the bipartisan support from Members of Congress on this important issue. As the U.S. reviews the value of NAFTA, it’s essential that our trade negotiations focus on preserving dairy trade with Mexico and other key markets, while challenging barriers such as Canada’s systematic abuse of trade rules and tools.”

Tom Vilsack, former Secretary of Agriculture under the Obama Administration and now president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council says: “When our trading partners hold up their end of the bargain—as we have seen Mexico do for dairy—trade benefits our farmers, workers and companies. But to preserve that positive impact, it’s essential that we hold countries accountable when they walk the other direction, too—as Canada has chosen to do on dairy.”

In their letter to President Trump, the Congressmen note: “…Canada’s newly implemented Class & National Ingredients Strategy has displaced current U.S. imports and is poised to negatively impact global milk powder markets. We are concerned that the programs may violate Canada’s existing commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada.”