June 22, 2017

Vilsack: Modernized NAFTA Should Be Fair and Balanced

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Speaking on a Canadian television program, U.S. Dairy Export Council President and CEO Tom Vilsack spoke about the need to modernize NAFTA in a way that maintains open trade with Mexico and ends protectionist actions by Canada.

"There are very technical issues, obviously, but at the end of the day this is about a fair and balanced market and allowing Canadian and U.S. consumers opportunities for quality at an affordable price," Vilsack said the Business News Network interview. "It's a question of making sure what you do from a government and policy standpoint doesn't put the thumb so heavily on the scale that it makes it impossible for exports to take place." 


Canada’s national pricing policy effectively blocks some American dairy exports, such as ultra-filtered milk, to Canada while at the same time undercutting U.S. protein exports to other world markets. Even before that policy, the U.S. dairy industry was restricted by Canadian tariffs. Only limited market access is granted under NAFTA. 


"We want to make sure that the markets closest to home are free and fair and open, to be the best they can be," said Vilsack. "We obviously have concerns about Canada." 


To increase trade with Canada, USDEC and the National Milk Producers Federation are asking the Trump Administration for a "decisive confrontation and resolution" of nontariff concerns, including the removal of Canadian milk pricing classes 6 & 7, and the inclusion of Canadian dairy tariffs.


To watch the entire interview, click here.