Kuster Calls on U.S. Trade Representative to Protect Domestic Dairy Farmers
(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, joined a bipartisan call on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to ensure protections for domestic dairy farmers during negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The letter specifically raises concerns about a Canadian program that unfairly props up Canadian dairy producers at the expense of American farmers. In New Hampshire, the dairy industry provides more than 3,500 jobs and has an impact of $141 million on the state and local economies. The full letter is available HERE.
“Granite State dairy farms are an important part of our state’s identity and economy,” said Kuster. “In addition to providing quality milk, yogurt, cheeses and other products, dairy farms help preserve open spaces and contribute to our state’s beautiful landscape. We need to protect our dairy farmers from unfair trade practices that undermine dairy prices and put farms operating under already difficult circumstances at risk. I’m hopeful that the Administration will stand by our dairy farmers as they negotiate changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.”
Canada protectionist policies surrounding dairy restrict American exports across the border and create a domestic oversupply issue in the United States. Kuster has been a strong supporter of New Hampshire’s dairy industry. Earlier this month, Kuster joined a bipartisan letter to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to encourage the secretary to enact new provisions in the Margin Protection Program (MPP) to support struggling dairy farmers. Last year, the New Hampshire delegation joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of members of Congress in urging USDA to support safety net programs for dairy farms. Kuster outlined her support for the Granite State dairy industry in a column in the Valley News.