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Peterson Leads Bipartisan Letter Urging Enforcement of Dairy Provisions in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement


August 17, 2020

WASHINGTON (August 13, 2020)- House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota led a letter along with Reps. Kind, Reed, Thompson (PA), Brindisi, Fulcher, Torres Small, and Gonzalez (OH) on the implementation of dairy provisions in the USMCA. The letter was signed by 104 Members of Congress.

“As we see the USMCA dairy provisions implemented, we expect Canada and Mexico to be held accountable for their commitments to ensure our dairy farmers have a more level playing field,” said Peterson. “I’m proud to work with Reps. Kind, Reed, Thompson (PA), Brindisi, Fulcher, Torres Small, and Gonzalez (OH) on this important issue. After a tough past few years, American dairy farmers need this agreement fully enforced, and I remain hopeful that the strong bipartisan support shown in this letter, and our partnership with the Administration, will provide some stability for the sector into the future.”

Leaders from the dairy industry voiced their support for this action.

Steve Schlangen, a dairy farmer from Albany, Minn., and chairman of the Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) Board of Directors: “I applaud Congressman Peterson and his colleagues for standing up for dairy farming families like mine by ensuring our trade agreements are fully and fairly enforced. USMCA will bring immense benefits to America’s dairy industry, but only if our trading partners adhere to their end of the deal. The U.S. government must make every effort to enforce USMCA as intended.”

Josh Barka, dairy farmer and Board Chairman, First District Association: “Congressman Peterson has always been a champion for Minnesota’s family farmers and we appreciate his leadership on this bipartisan letter highlighting the need to enforce USMCA’s dairy-related provisions. USMCA will advance fairer trade rules for American-made dairy products in Canada and secure important protections for U.S. cheeses in Mexico. Proactive enforcement of these provisions is necessary to bring tangible benefits to our farmers on-the-ground here in Minnesota and across the country.” – Josh Barka, dairy farmer and Board Chairman, First District Association

Kristine Spadgenske, dairy farmer from Menagha, Minn., and Dairy Farmers of America Central Area Council Member: “We appreciate the Chairman’s leadership in pushing USDA and USTR to hold our trading partners feet to the fire when it comes to enforcing the dairy provisions of USMCA. Mexico and Canada should not be playing games when it comes to dairy trade.”

Devin Schulze, dairy farmer from Holland, Minn., and Land O’Lakes, Inc. Elected Leader: “USMCA will help facilitate U.S. dairy exports throughout North America, bringing increased opportunities and economic certainty to America’s dairy industry. As Congressman Peterson and his colleagues have rightly pointed out, USMCA must be fairly implemented and fully enforced in order for these benefits to come to fruition. This is an issue that affects all aspects of our industry, from our supplying farmers to the exporters who depend on fair market access. We applaud Congressman Peterson for his leadership on this important issue.”

Jim Mulhern, president & CEO, National Milk Producers Federation: “America’s dairy farmers are looking forward to the important benefits and new opportunities that USMCA will bring to our rural communities after a tough year. This is why it is so critical that USMCA’s dairy provisions are implemented efficiently and thoroughly enforced. We applaud Congressmen Kind, Reed, Peterson, Thompson, Brindisi, Fulcher, Torres Small, and Gonzalez for leading this letter and working in a bipartisan manner to secure the full potential of this deal for all of America’s dairy farmers.”

Tom Vilsack, president & CEO, U.S. Dairy Export Council: “The finalization of USMCA was a boon for dairy farmers, processors and exporters as it ushered in modernized rules and restored certainty to the North American dairy trade. The bipartisan effort led by Congressmen Kind, Reed, Peterson, Thompson, Brindisi, Fulcher, Torres Small, and Gonzalez to help ensure we hold Canada and Mexico accountable to their trade commitments is important to fully reaping these hard-fought gains. We will continue to work alongside Congress and the U.S. Administration to secure Canada’s compliance in reforming its destructive dairy trade policies and to solidify market-access for common name cheeses in Mexico.”


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