Baldwin, Schumer Want Canadian Dairy Policies Investigated
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 09/02/2016
Two national dairy organizations are praising U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Chuck Schumer from New York for urging an investigation into Canadian dairy pricing policies that they claim have impacted dairy farmers and manufacturers in a negative way. In a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the two Democratic lawmakers expressed concern about Canada's recently announced National Ingredients Strategy and its already active Ontario Class VI pricing program.
Baldwin, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, says these programs incentivize Canadian processors to use Canadian milk and dairy inputs, and thus penalizing them for using imported dairy products.
"We are particularly concerned about reports that through these types of programs, Canada is moving to target New York and Wisconsin exports of ultrafiltered milk," the letter stated. "Companies from our states inform us that they have already lost
considerable export sales as a result of the Ontario dairy policy introduced this past spring."
The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council publicly thanked Baldwin and Schumer for their actions. They say these types of programs are intended to discourage the use of U.S. dairy exports.
"This letter comes at a critical time for both trade and the well-being of America's dairy producers," said NMPF CEO Jim Mulhern. "We appreciate the Senators' attention to the importance of holding one of our largest trading partners to its international commitments and the key role that the U.S. government must play in doing so."
Meanwhile, the senators also voiced their concern that implementing the new National Ingredients Strategy across Canada could raise further compliance issues with Canada's NAFTA and WTO obligations by impeding dairy trade between the two countries.