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Senators ask Trump to act on Canadian trade barriers

Wisconsin State Farmer

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have called on the Trump Administration to act on restrictive Canadian trade barriers that are hurting American dairy farmers and processors.

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin

The Senators sent a letter to Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Acting Secretary of Agriculture Michael Young, detailing the negative impact these unfair trade practices are having on America’s dairy industry and urging the Administration officials to immediately address this issue with the Canadian government and launch an investigation into these trade actions.

“We urge you to exhaust all potential avenues to bring Canada into compliance with its trade commitments and establish dependable trading conditions for U.S. companies exporting to Canada,” the Senators wrote. “Dairy farmers should not have their businesses ruined and lives upended as a result of this unfair trade practice. Canada must be clearly and swiftly reminded in a concrete way that dependable trading conditions between our two countries is critically important to their country as well.”

As Canada has implemented these trade barriers on milk, Wisconsin’s dairy industry has already suffered losses of tens of millions of dollars. Recent reports in Wisconsin show that ripple effects of this trade barrier are being felt throughout the state. Senator Baldwin first called for a federal investigation into these Canadian trade barriers last year. Following meetings with dairy farmers in Wisconsin,Senator Baldwin raised the issue with Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue and pressed President Trump to address this in trade discussions with Canada.

Current Canadian trade barriers have already started to hinder development and growth of the Upstate New York dairy industry. Companies like O-AT-KA and Cayuga Milk Ingredients, along with Ideal Dairy Farm, rely on trade with Canada for a significant percentage – millions of dollars – of their revenue. As the country’s third largest milk producing state, a significant impact on New York’s ability to tap into key foreign markets could also impact farmers in surrounding states. Therefore, any reductions in export sales could impact New York dairy manufacturers and their supplying farms, which are already struggling with depressed milk prices.

The complete letter is available online at