Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) today highlighted the positive changes for Upstate dairy farmers following an agreement between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico on an updated trilateral trade deal. The new agreement will eliminate the Canadian Class 6 and 7 pricing systems, while also increasing market access for U.S. dairy farmers.
"Upstate dairy farmers have been suffering from limited access to Canadian markets for years, and the creation of the Class 7 pricing scheme only made things worse, "said Congressman Faso. "I am glad to see an agreement that levels the playing field and is a big victory for our local dairy farmers."
"The recent announcement regarding the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement is positive news for New York farmers. We believe this is a step in the right direction for New York agriculture, including the state's dairy farms. We are hopeful that the USMCA will ensure continued market access as well as increase trade with both Canada and Mexico. NYFB is also encouraged by language that will eliminate Canada's Class 7 dairy pricing program as well as increase access to Canada's dairy market. We believe this will be a positive for dairy farmers in the Hudson Valley. NYFB will continue to work with members of Congress, including Representative Faso, for timely signage and implementation of the Agreement," said Eric Ooms, New York Farm Bureau Vice President and Columbia County farmer.
Over the last few years, the volume of milk production in Canada has increased, which led both the province of Ontario as well as the national government to create new class pricing structures, Class 6 and Class 7, respectively. These classes apply to ingredients like milk powders and protein concentrates, pricing them at artificially low rates. This results in surplus product being dumped on the global market, significantly disadvantaging upstate farmers.
Since the implementation of the Class 7 system, Congressman Faso has been working with dairy farmers and his Agriculture Advisory Committee to identify the impacts of Canadian pricing on local dairies and develop pragmatic solutions to improve the economic situation for Upstate farmers. His recommendations, including expanded export market access and the elimination of the unfair pricing schemes, have been included in the new trade agreement. Several of Congressman Faso's past actions and policy recommendations can be found below:
April 26, 2017 -- Letter to President Trump highlighting the recent implementation of the Class 7 pricing scheme. A signed copy can be found here.
April 16, 2018 -- Letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer emphasizing the impacts of Class 7. A Signed copy can be found here.
April 22, 2018 -- Interview with Canadian TV show, The West Block, discussing Class 7 and the dairy trade with host Eric Sorenson. The interview can be found here.
April 24, 2018 -- Letter to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer emphasizing the need to eliminate Class 7. A Signed copy can be found here.