WASHINGTON (December 9) — Today, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative initiated dispute settlement proceedings by requesting consultations with Canada for its inadequate implementation of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The dispute — which was spurred by Canada’s failure to comply with its USMCA dairy commitments — is the first enforcement action to be taken under USMCA.

The Alliance for Trade Enforcement applauds USTR’s decision to strictly enforce the USMCA and ensure that Canada adheres to the obligations it made to American dairy farmers in the pact.

“During the lengthy USMCA negotiations, Canada agreed to expand American access to its dairy market. The agreed-upon provisions stood to increase the U.S. share of Canada’s dairy market,” said Brian Pomper, Executive Director of the Alliance for Trade Enforcement. “Unfortunately, Canada has yet to make good on these commitments.”

The dairy industry is a critical component of America’s economy. Indeed, the average American consumes nearly 300 pounds of dairy products in a year. All told, the industry supports more than 3 million jobs, contributes nearly $65 billion to federal, state, and local taxes, and generates $620 billion in total economic impact.

“AFTE urged USTR to address Canada’s dairy market access restrictions in our 2021 National Trade Estimate Report Comments — and we’re glad to see the administration taking action,” said Pomper.

This is one of many enforcement actions that the U.S. government can take to hold our trading partners accountable for the obligations they made in trade agreements with the United States and ensure that America’s farmers, workers, and businesses are competing on a level playing field around the world. AFTE urges President-elect Biden and his team to pursue similar enforcement actions in the years ahead.

“The trade wins negotiated by officials in USMCA will only benefit America’s dairy farmers, processors and exporters if they are enforced. We are confident that full and fair enforcement of USMCA will create new opportunities for American dairy farmers and businesses in Canada,” said Jaime Castaneda, Senior Vice President for Policy Strategy and International Trade for the National Milk Producers Federation & Dairy Export Council, an AFTE member organization. “Today’s action by USTR is a critical step towards securing the market accessed promised by USMCA and we look forward to working with trade officials and industry allies to continue diligent enforcement.”

About the Alliance for Trade Enforcement: The Alliance for Trade Enforcement is a coalition of trade associations and business groups that advocates for foreign governments to end unfair trade practices that harm U.S. innovative industries and supports U.S. policymakers in their efforts to hold our trading partners accountable.