Trade dispute ruling will increase dairy exports to Canada

Enrollment for Calendar Year 2022 in the Dairy Margin Coverage program is open until February 18, 2022

WASHINGTON – With 2022 underway, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tina Smith (D-MN) announced two new policy updates benefitting Minnesota’s dairy farmers.

At the beginning of the month, a United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) panel sided with the United States in a dispute regarding unjustified trade restrictions on American dairy products. This win will help increase exports from Minnesota’s dairy industry to Canada and ensure the USMCA is properly enforced to benefit and protect Minnesota farmers and workers.

Klobuchar and Smith also highlighted that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has opened signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program for calendar year 2022 and expanded the program to allow dairy producers to better protect their operations. The deadline to sign up is February 18, 2022.

“Minnesota’s dairy farmers are key to producing and protecting our nation’s food supply,” said Klobuchar. “By ensuring fair access to international markets and providing a strong safety net for producers, we are supporting the industry and our rural communities. I’ll keep fighting for policies to position our state’s dairy farmers for success.”

“For nearly two years, I have worked to crack down on Canada’s illegal trade practices that are hurting U.S. dairy farmers,” said Smith. “This is a historic win for dairies in Minnesota and across the country, who will finally be able to sell U.S. products to Canadian buyers without unjustified restrictions.”

In August 2020, Klobuchar, Smith, and a bipartisan group of 24 Senators sent a letter to then-USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Robert Lighthizer calling for the enforcement of USMCA dairy provisions.

Klobuchar and Smith worked to provide vital support for dairy producers continuing to face challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including authorizing supplemental DMC payments to small and medium-sized dairy farms in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. In August 2021, Klobuchar and Smith led a letter with Representative Angie Craig (D-MN) to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to prioritize finalizing the Supplemental DMC payments. 

Additional information on the DMC program can be found here.

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