August 31, 2020

House Sends Letter for USMCA Enforcement

House Sends Letter for USMCA Enforcement

House lawmakers sent a bipartisan letter advising the United States government to implement the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s (USMCA) dairy-related provisions. The letter comes at a time when American farmers, producers, and exporters are only able to benefit from USMCA if the deal is entirely enforced. According to the International Trade Commission, if USMCA is implemented as negotiated, U.S. dairy exports are projected to increase by more than $314 million a year. The letter is supported by 104 members of congress.

“As U.S. focus now shifts from the effort to enter USMCA into force to the present challenge of ensuring faithful implementation of its provisions by our trading partners, we urge you to act swiftly to use USMCA’s consultation and enforcement measures to ensure that Canada and Mexico deliver on all their obligations related to dairy products in a way that is fully consistent with the spirit and letter of the agreement,” the letter states.

The Congress members request that Canada must administer its Dairy Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ) fairly and in a manner consistent with obligations under USMCA and ensure the elimination of Canada’s Class 6 and 7 milk pricing classes are entirely understood. Lawmakers also request that Mexico enforces the two USMCA side letters about commonly used cheese terms into practice.

“Given the importance of these provisions to U.S. dairy exports, we ask that you use USMCA’s enforcement measures to hold our trading partners accountable to their trade commitments. We stand ready to work alongside your office to ensure that the full benefits that we bargained for in USMCA for U.S. dairy producers and dairy food makers are fully realized,” the letter concludes.

Many in the U.S. dairy industry support the letter. Jim Mulhern, President, and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation stated in a press release, “The support for today’s bipartisan letter demonstrates the incredible impact the U.S. dairy industry has across the country, supporting our rural economies and fulfilling an essential role in feeding America. USMCA is a modernized trade deal that represents new opportunities for our farmers and processors after years of rural recession and the new challenges presented by the current crisis. We must utilize USMCA’s enforcement mechanisms to bring home its hard-fought wins for America’s dairy farmers.”

Read the House’s letter here.