GREEN BAY, Wis. — Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, one of the largest dairy co-ops in the country, applauded an announcement today by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai that the United States is moving forward in challenging Canada over its allocation of tariff-rate quotas for dairy products.
Tai said that per her request, a dispute settlement panel will be established under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) against Canada regarding its dairy tariff-rate quotas, which allow that country to impose higher tariffs on imports over a certain quantity for milk, cheese, skim milk powders and other dairy products. The USTR says Canada is creating limits that prevent U.S. dairy producers from selling a wider variety of products into the country.
“International trade is key to economic growth and stability for our dairy farmers and processors. That’s why additional market access into Canada is an important part of USMCA,” Edge President Brody Stapel, a Wisconsin dairy farmer, said. “Edge and our farmers appreciate USTR’s commitment to holding Canada to the agreement and giving the U.S. dairy community greater export opportunities as intended.”
Edge has aggressively pushed for the USTR’s enforcement action after the issue first arose last summer. Most recently, the co-op worked with Congress to raise the issue during Tai’s confirmation hearings and was among a group of dairy organizations that sent this letter to the USTR earlier this month.
Under the previous administration, USTR took an initial enforcement step in December by seeking consultations, which did not resolve the issue. In the new action, USTR asked for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel, which is expected to issue a report later this year.
Click here to read USTR’s announcement and more background about the issue.