Dairy trade continues to be a focus for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) who just announced that he is working with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in an effort to fix dairy trade problems in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Schumer made the announcement on April 27, saying that Ryan and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) are all urging U.S. trade officials to resolve unfair dairy trade tactics implemented by Canada.
“With Speaker Ryan’s and Senator Baldwin’s help, we now have a real opportunity to churn the tide and hopefully fix the unfair Canadian dairy trade barriers that have plagued dairy farmers and producers from the Finger-Lakes to Central New York to Wisconsin,” Schumer says.
In the past few weeks Schumer has visited dairy processors and farmers in his home state of New York. While on the tours he alleges Canada has effectively put up a “Dairy Wall” with its “Class 7” pricing program which places a 270% tariff on milk. During the time that Class 7 has been implemented, Canada has built up its own domestic supply and dumped powdered milk on the global market.
“As trade officials near a deal to renegotiate NAFTA – a bipartisan issue President Trump, Senator Baldwin, Speaker Ryan and I agree on – we must make it a top priority to begin reversing restrictive dairy pricing policies in Canada that are hurting our dairy producers at their core, and now is a real opportunity to do just that,” Schumer says.
Last year, both Ryan and Baldwin were part of a bipartisan Wisconsin delegation that sent a letter to trade officials asking for similar considerations in NAFTA talks.
“Exports are critical to the viability of Wisconsin’s dairy farms. These families rely on them for their very livelihood. I am encouraged by this bipartisan effort and will continue to work with my colleagues and impacted stakeholders to break down these trade barriers and reach a practical solution,” Ryan said of the 2017 effort.