Senator Baldwin Announces Support for U.S. Trade Representative Nominee Lighthizer
Baldwin calls for new Trump trade rep to take immediate action on Canadian dairy trade barriers and NAFTA once confirmed
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announced she will vote for Robert Lighthizer, President Trump’s nominee for U.S. Trade Representative. Senator Baldwin called on Lighthizer to take immediate action on restrictive Canadian dairy trade barriers and renegotiating NAFTA once he is confirmed.
“In Wisconsin, there is an immediate need for the Trump Administration to follow through on the promises that have been made to our workers and dairy farmers. Our agriculture economy has been hurt by Canada’s restrictive trade barriers and we need action to ensure our dairy farmers are not put out of business by trade politics and dairy policies set in Canada.
“In addition, unfair trade deals, like NAFTA, have cost our Wisconsin economy manufacturing jobs. I have long opposed this flawed trade deal and support renegotiating it. It is my hope that President Trump will keep his promise to ensure that our nation’s trade policies will level the playing field for American workers.”
Senator Baldwin has been sounding the alarm since last September about Canada’s trade barriers and how they are harming Wisconsin dairy farms:
- September 2, 2016: Senator Baldwin first called for a federal investigation into these Canadian trade barriers.
- January 28, 2017: Senator Baldwin visited a dairy farm in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin to meet with dairy farmers and processors to seek input on the nomination of Sonny Perdue and learn about the impact of Canada’s trade barriers.
- February 2, 2017: Senator Baldwin met with nominee Perdue and discussed the need to address unfair Canadian trade barriers.
- March 28, 2017: Senator Baldwin pressed President Trump to address the situation in trade discussions with Canada.
- April 12, 2017: Senator Baldwin called on Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Acting Secretary of Agriculture Michael Young to immediately address this issue with the Canadian government. Senator Baldwin also joined a letter with the entire Wisconsin Congressional delegation.
- April 13, 2017: Senator Baldwin visited a dairy farm in Elk Mound, Wisconsin to meet with the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin and discuss potential solutions.
- April 24, 2017: Senator Baldwin supports the confirmation of Sonny Perdue as Agriculture Secretary, encouraging him to visit Wisconsin and act on restrictive Canadian trade barriers.
- April 27, 2017: Senator Baldwin led fellow dairy state Senators in urging Secretary Perdue to take immediate action with USDA programs that can assist dairy farmers harmed by restrictive Canadian trade barriers.
- May 8, 2017: The bipartisan omnibus Fiscal Year 2017 appropriations legislation signed into law includes provisions championed by Senator Baldwin to allow the USDA to assist farmers directly with Section 32 funds, direct the USDA to develop insurance to cover milk, and direct Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to address the challenges facing dairy farmers by using his existing authorities.
Senator Baldwin has long opposed NAFTA and pushed for trade policies to help Wisconsin workers get ahead. Following President Trump’s January announcement of his intentions to begin renegotiating NAFTA, Senator Baldwin sent a letter to the President outlining actions to level the playing field for American workers. In March, Senator Baldwin called on President Trump to suspend Buy American waivers for foreign firms. This came on the heels of the GAO report Senator Baldwin requested. The report showed that our trade agreements, like NAFTA, have undermined American workers and our Buy America standards by having the U.S. open its doors to foreign firms far more than other countries have.
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