Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06), Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01), Congresswoman Michelle Fischbach (MN-07), and Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai expressing concern that Canada may be bending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) rules to unfairly benefit its own dairy industry at the expense of U.S. producers.
"As a Representative of Minnesota's largest dairy-producing county in the state, I have seen firsthand how determined these hard-working folks are, and how their success is tied to the overall agriculture community. These men and women bring jobs and economic growth to Minnesota, so we must ensure that trade agreements are fairly enforced to allow them to thrive," said Emmer.
"USMCA was a major win for farm families across the nation, but specifically for Minnesota’s dairy farmers. However, any trade agreement is only as effective as its enforcement mechanisms. I am glad to see a dispute settlement case move forward to defend our rights, but I encourage Ambassador Tai to continue monitoring Canada's actions as we work towards a resolution," Emmer concluded.
Minnesota’s dairy industry is comprised of 2,100 farms and provides 27,000 jobs and 110,000 indirect jobs. On average, Minnesota produces nearly 10.2 billion pounds of milk, with Stearns County, in the Sixth Congressional District, coming in as the largest dairy-producing county in the state.
Minnesota is top ten in the nation in both milk and cheese production and is fourth in the nation in the total value of manufactured dairy products, at $5 billion. Moreover, exports are critical to Minnesota’s dairy industry. The state is in the top ten nationally for dairy exports, which are valued at over $200 million dollars.
Congressman Emmer's letter urged Ambassador Tai to closely monitor Canadian milk
protein isolates (MPI) exports (Chapter 3504 tariff code) and to explore the use of USMCA’s dairy consultation provisions to address this circumvention further with Canada.
Read the letter here.