Crapo urges USTR to put pressure on Canada, Mexico on ag issues
Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, today urged Trade Representative Katherine Tai to put pressure on Canada and Mexico through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade to resolve conflicts over agricultural issues.
“An important U.S. tariff-rate quotas case against Canada remains stalled in the USMCA process,” Crapo said in opening remarks at the hearing. “It is time to see progress on it, or the United States must proceed with a dispute settlement panel so that American farmers, ranchers and businesses can enjoy the benefits they bargained for under the agreement. Mexico is adopting a host of measures that undermine our agricultural rights, including restrictions on biotech crops, glyphosate and unreasonable food packaging labels.”
Crapo also told Tai, “I encourage you to press for action on these barriers at the meeting of the USMCA Free Trade Commission later this month. If our partners should refuse, you must use the enforcement tools at your disposal.”
At the hearing, Tai announced that USTR would use the rapid response mechanism in the USMCA to request that Mexico review whether workers at a General Motors facility in Silao, in the State of Guanajuato, are being denied the right of free association and collective bargaining.
Tai also said the Biden administration will use trade policy to “build a cleaner and brighter future, with new market opportunities and high-paying, quality jobs.”
She continued, “And by encouraging fresh, collaborative thinking, we can forge consensus among diverse groups and find solutions that we never knew existed. Our farmers, ranchers, fishers and food processors will benefit from our new approach and they are essential to meeting our climate and sustainability goals. We are turning the page on erratic trade policies. USTR’s goal is to pursue smarter policies that expand global market opportunities while enforcing global trade standards and ensuring that trading partners live up to their commitments.”
Tai also faced questions about U.S.-China relations and about the administration’s proposal to support waiving coronavirus vaccine patent protections.
–The Hagstrom Report
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