WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of the Third Congressional District of Wisconsin called on United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to work toward negotiating an end to Canada’s trade-distorting Class VII dairy pricing program during upcoming NAFTA negotiations, in order to protect the livelihood of American dairy farmers.
Kind, along with Rep. Lloyd Smucker of Pennsylvania led the letter to USTR Lighthizer, which was signed by a bipartisan group of 68 Members.
“Wisconsin farmers are being asked to compete on a playing field that hasn’t been leveled, and it’s hurting the success of their farms and our communities,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “As NAFTA negotiations continue, I’m calling on Trade Representative Lighthizer to fight for dairy farmers that have been left behind, and work to cut a deal that helps keep our farms open and competitive.”
America’s 40,000 dairy farmers and the nearly 3 million workers whose jobs are tied to dairy product manufacturing are experiencing limited markets and deeply depressed farm income levels. The new Class VII pricing system within the Canadian National Ingredient Strategy introduced in February 2017 has negatively impacted dairy farmers in Wisconsin by favoring Canadian milk products. Under the National Ingredient Strategy, Canadian milk product ingredients are priced at or below internationally competitive levels, undercutting Wisconsin dairy farmers not only in Canada but allowing dumped Canadian product to threaten market access for Wisconsin farmers globally.
Read the letter here.