FARMFEST: Sen. Smith Fights For Fair Trade And Helped Secure Improvements to the USMCA

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2020

Sen. Tina Smith understands the impact that trade plays in Minnesota’s economy and fully supports fair trade. When fair trade policies are in place, Minnesota workers, businesses and farmers are able to get ahead.

Sen. Smith believes in holding countries like China accountable when they break international trade agreements and put Minnesota workers’ jobs at risk. Sen. Smith also understands that building trade relationships takes strategic approaches and that trading relationships must each be addressed in different ways to be most effective. That’s why Sen. Smith has called on the Trump Administration to end the trade war that’s hurting, rather than helping, American farmers.

After visiting with agricultural leaders across Minnesota, Sen. Smith successfully pushed for improvements to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which she believes will ease trading relationships and protect Minnesota farmers and producers–especially dairy farmers. The USMCA adds certainty for Minnesota farmers, businesses and consumers by opening new markets for U.S. dairy farmers, strengthening protections for workers, and improving access to affordable medicine–which she fought for.


April 2018: Smith Called On Administration To Use NAFTA Renegotiations To Stop Canadian Tariffs On Dairy. “In a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, Sen. Smith pressed him to make helping U.S. dairy farmers a top priority in the negotiations. Last year, Ambassador Lighthizer revised his NAFTA negotiating objectives to include putting a stop to Canadian tariffs on U.S. dairy exports and other policies that unfairly tilt the playing field in favor of Canadian producers. In the letter sent yesterday, Sen. Smith called on the ambassador to fulfill these objectives because she’s committed to fighting for Minnesota farmers and producers.” [Willmar Radio, 4/21/18]

KVRR: The USMCA Included “Provisions [Smith] Fought For Like Strengthening Protections For Workers And Improving Access To Affordable Medicines.” “The Senate Finance Committee approves USMCA.  Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith says she will vote in favor of the trade deal with Canada and Mexico. The bill includes provisions she fought for like strengthening protections for workers and improving access to affordable medicines.  Smith says it’s important to open new markets for agriculture and end unfair Canadian milk pricing rules that hurts our farmers.” [KVRR, 1/8/20]

SC Times: “Sen. Tina Smith Touts Benefits Of Trade Deal For Minnesota Dairy Farmers.” [SC Times, 1/11/20]

  • The USMCA Will Preserve Duty-Free Access For U.S. Products In Mexico, And In Canada It Will Increase Access For Select Dairy Products And Eliminate Some Milk Price Classes. “Mexico is the biggest importer of U.S. dairy, particularly cheese and dry milk products. And Canada is runner up overall and the leading market for butter and processed dairy products, according to the Congressional Research Service March 2019 report on dairy provisions in the new deal. ‘Some dairy analysts believe U.S. exports could be higher but for Canadian import restrictions,’ according to that memo. The new agreement preserves duty-free access for U.S. products in Mexico, and in Canada it will increase access for select dairy products and eliminate some milk price classes.” [SC Times, 1/11/20]

July 2020: Smith Says Trade Deal Will Provide Some Much-Needed Certainty for Farmers. “Minnesota Senator Tina Smith says the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement is good news for agriculture. ‘No trade deal is perfect, but this trade deal will provide some much-needed certainty at a moment where we could use some good news in agriculture. It has some good provisions to help expand market access for dairy products in Canada, which would be helpful.’ Some of those dairy provisions are already triggering a challenge. ‘It goes to show how important it is to monitor these deals and make sure they get implemented the way they were intended to be implemented,’ says Smith. ‘We shouldn’t have to be fighting these battles right away, but we’ll keep pushing at it.’” [Red River Farm Network, 7/2/20]

Follow Tina

Get campaign updates