Reps. Kind, DelBene, and Higgins Call on USTR to Slow Pace of NAFTA Renegotiations and Resolve Roadblocks with Canadian Dairy Market
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (WI-03), Suzan DelBene (WA-1), and Brian Higgins (NY-26) called on United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to slow the pace of North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations, and take the necessary time to come to a fair agreement with Canada on dairy export pricing.
Reps. Kind, DelBene and Higgins represent border-state districts in Wisconsin, Washington, and New York, respectively, that need open-market access to Canada in order to sell dairy exports. To date, little to no progress has been made with Canada regarding either their historically closed dairy market or their more recent Class 7 National Ingredients Strategy that has displaced U.S. imports into Canada and negatively impacted milk powder markets worldwide.
A joint statement from the lawmakers is below:
“With historically low dairy prices across the United States, our farmers are depending on increased access to the Canadian market in order to sell their world-class dairy products. We urge Ambassador Lighthizer to stop rushing the NAFTA renegotiation process, and focus on getting the best deal possible with both Canada and Mexico. The arbitrary deadlines the Administration claims to face are deadlines of their own; we should not be rushed to complete NAFTA renegotiations at the expense of a good outcome.”
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is pushing to come to a NAFTA deal – with or without Canada – by this Sunday, in order to give U.S. lawmakers the required 60 days to review the text of a renegotiated NAFTA and ensure it is signed before Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto leaves office. Representatives Kind, DelBene, Higgins and others have expressed concerns that omitting Canada from a final agreement violates the notification requirements required by Trade Promotion Authority.
Read the letter here.