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Kind, DelBene & Higgins call on USTR to slow pace of NAFTA renegotiations, resolve roadblocks with Canadian dairy market

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Thu, Sep 27th 2018 03:50 pm
Ways and Means Committee members represent border-state dairy farmers that rely on access to Canadian market
On Wednesday, U.S. Reps. Ron Kind (WI-03), Suzan DelBene (WA-1) and Brian Higgins (NY-26) called on U.S. Trade Rep. 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.
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. They said, 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.
In a joint statement, the lawmakers said, "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."
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. 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.

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