U.S. Senators Tina Smith and Mike Crapo Announce Big Win For Dairy Farmers After Leading Bipartisan Push Against Unfair Trade Practices

WASHINGTON, [1.6.22] – Today, U.S. Senators Tina Smith (D-Minnesota) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) announced a major victory for U.S. dairy farmers after spearheading Congressional efforts to hold Canada accountable for violations of a key trade agreement.   

“For nearly two years, Senator Crapo and I have been leading the charge to crack down on Canada’s illegal trade practices that are hurting U.S. dairy farmers,” said Sen. Smith. “This is a historic win for dairies in Minnesota and across the country, who will finally be able to sell U.S. products to Canadian buyers without unjustified restrictions.”

“Enforcing our trade agreements to open our dairy markets will feed our neighbors and create jobs at home,” said Sen. Crapo.  “This is a huge victory in tearing down further barriers for Idaho’s and the nation’s dairies.  This decision will further unlock the promises of the United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement and meet the needs of our 21st Century producers.”

In August 2020, Sens. Smith and Crapo led a bipartisan letter with 25 Senators identifying dairy-related provisions that were not being upheld in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). In their letter, the Senators asked the U.S. government to use USMCA’s enforcement measures to ensure full compliance from Canada and Mexico with the trade deal.

Now, a USMCA panel has ruled in favor of the U.S., agreeing that Canada is breaching its commitments. Specifically, the panel ruled that Canada is reserving most of the in-quota quantity in its dairy tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for the exclusive use of Canadian processors, a breach of the USMCA that Senators Smith and Crapo raised in their letter.

This historic win is an important step to eliminating unjustified trade restrictions on American dairy products, and will ensure that the U.S. dairy industry and its workers get the full benefit of the USMCA to market and sell U.S. products to Canadian consumers.