U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-New York, and Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., are asking federal officials to take proactive steps to prevent Canada from imposing new barriers to U.S. dairy exports.
New York and Wisconsin are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in the Canadian market, but only if Canada does not move to block U.S. dairy imports.
"With the growth the dairy industry has been experiencing in Upstate New York and the country as a whole, the federal government has to stand up for our dairy farms and ensure our dairy exports aren't slowed," Reed said. "Additional barriers placed on U.S. dairy exports to Canada will result in sizeable losses for our dairy companies, and run counter to efforts to foster a closer U.S.-Canada relationship."
Rep. Tom Reed
Reed and Kind, along with members of the New York and Wisconsin delegations, sent a letter outlining concerns over the inaccessibility of the Canadian dairy market to U.S. dairy products to the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative. Of particular concern is a possible change to Canadian cheese standards that would further restrict trade, in addition to a 2007 revision of the Cheese Compositional Standards by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that reduced opportunities for dairy sales from the U.S. to Canada.
New York and Wisconsin are home to 17,000 dairy producers who rely on export opportunities to help sustain their farms. In addition, both states have robust dairy manufacturing sectors, such as yogurt and cheese, that help provide stable jobs in rural areas.