Congressman Jacobs calls Canadian dairy trade practices a violation of the international trade agreement

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CORFU, N.Y. (WIVB) — After more than a year since the United States- Mexico- Canada Agreement (USMCA) Congressman Chris Jacobs sent a letter to Canadian Ambassador Kirsten Hillman, hoping to end the ongoing dispute over Canadian dairy tariffs.

At a farm in Corfu today, Rep. Jacobs said American dairy producers were supposed to be given increased access to 14 of Canada’s dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQ’s) as part of the international trade agreement. This would open new market possibilities for those in the industry.

“Currently, Canada is setting aside a percentage of each TRQ for Canadian processors and future processors- which will also be Canadian processors- effectively undermining American dairy producers,” said Rep. Jacobs.

Jacobs says if the trade agreement’s provisions are utilized the way the USMCA intended, this side of the border will thrive.

“The full enforcement of the USMCA’s Canadian provisions could add 220 million in new opportunities for American producers,” said Rep. Jacobs.

Farmers say the Canadian tariffs are keeping them from opportunities to bounce back after the pandemic.

“Any opportunities that we can get to have another market to sell our products, increases the price that we are paid,” said Kelly Reynolds of Reyncrest Farms. “It trickles down to the money we make in our business and are able to put back in our business.”

The past 16 months have been hard on dairy farmers.

“We are challenged every day by the weather, how we care for our animals, labor is a huge challenge, not just here on our farm, but also where our milk is going, to the [production] plants.”

Along with the letter to Canadian Ambassador Kirsten Hillman, Rep. Jacobs says a dispute panel has been formed to settle the argument, but a resolution could take months.

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