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State Lawmakers Urge Rep. Kind to Push for USMCA Vote
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 08/09/2019

A group of 15 Wisconsin legislators have written a letter to Congressman Ron Kind, asking him to put pressure on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold a vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

The lawmakers, many of which represent constituents that are within Rep. Kind's third congressional district, claim USMCA has the potential to boost the nation's economy and help solidify Wisconsin's growing international presence.

"As America's Dairyland, the success of Wisconsin's dairy industry is vital to our state's economic success and a central pillar of our collective identity," the memo said. "Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Wisconsin's dairy industry has been structurally disadvantaged. Our dairy farmers face several unfair policies that all but ensure that they will not succeed. For example, Canada's Class 7 milk pricing program allows Canadian producers to to undercut Wisconsin farmers' price, and their quota system restricts the free market by refusing the entry of more Wisconsin products."

The letter went on to say that nearly 700 Wisconsin dairy farms were forced to shut down in 2018 and that many of the remaining operations cannot survive without bank credit.

"We have the power to end our constituents' anguish and it is time that we put politics aside to do just that," the state lawmakers said. "The USMCA puts an end to the unfair practices that continue to hurt those at the heard of Wisconsin's economy and pride. Dairy farmers would be free of the obstacles and have stifled their chances for prosperity; finally placing Wisconsin on a level playing field with other North American nations."

Co-signers of the letter include Senators Kathleen Bernier, Howard Marklein Patrick Testin, along with Reps. Rob Summerfield, Rob Stafsholt, Shannon Zimmerman, Joan Ballweg, Tony Kurtz, Travis Tranel, Jesse James, Todd Novak, Warren Petryk, Scott Krug, Loren Oldenburg, and Treig Pronschinske.

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