WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) released the following statement after a trade dispute panel established under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) ruled in Canada’s favor and against Wisconsin dairy farmers and producers. The ruling delivered late last week rejected a complaint that Canada has overly restricted U.S. dairy imports and violated USMCA obligations.
“Wisconsin dairy farmers work hard every day to bring world class products to market, and they deserve a level playing field with their global competitors. This decision flies in the face of the agreement our country made with Canada and puts our Made in Wisconsin dairy products at a disadvantage,” said Senator Baldwin. “This decision should have resulted in necessary improvements for market access for American dairy products in Canada, but instead sets a disturbing precedent that weakens the ability to use USMCA to push back against trade violations moving forward.”
The dispute settlement mechanism included in USMCA is intended to bring resolutions to trade disputes quickly and fairly. Last year, a dispute settlement panel brought under USMCA found that Canada was reserving its dairy tariff-rate quota (TRQ) for the exclusive use of Canadian processors, in violation of commitments to dairy market access under USMCA. Despite the ruling, Canada did not make the necessary reforms to its TRQ procedures.
In January, Senator Baldwin called for a second dispute settlement panel on the subject of Canada’s failed implementation of the changes required by the first ruling. A second panel was launched and found late last week that Canada’s measures do not breach the USMCA commitments.
Since the USMCA went into effect, Senator Baldwin has pushed both then-President Trump and President Biden to enforce USMCA dairy provisions.
The United States is a global leader in dairy production and safeguarding access to international markets is paramount in maintaining such status. The dairy industry in Wisconsin alone supports over 150,000 jobs and contributes $45.6 billion to the state’s economy.
An online version of this release is available here.