WASHINGTON — Forty-nine members of Congress have sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations with Canada be used to expand trade opportunities for the U.S. poultry and dairy industries.
The letter noted that U.S. poultry exports to Canada in 2011 totaled more than $290 million, making that country the third largest export market for U.S. poultry.
However, the letter stated, while the Canadian poultry supply management regime severely limits the quantity of U.S. poultry exported to Canada, that country is permitted to export its poultry to the U.S. with essentially no trade restrictions.
With open and fair market access, U.S. poultry exports to Canada would easily double, if not more, beyond current sales, the letter continued. The congressmen also noted that expanding trade opportunities between the U.S. and Canada could potentially yield billions of dollars in new business for U.S. dairy farmers.
“We urge you to ensure that the United States seize this tremendous opportunity and works to eliminate existing Canadian tariffs levied against U.S. dairy and poultry products, two sectors that were effectively omitted from the Canadian portion of the North America Free Trade Agreement,” the letter stated.
“We believe that TPP negotiations with Canada must address this shortcoming in that agreement by achieving full market liberalization between the United States and Canada for our dairy and poultry industries,” the representatives said.