Twenty-one US Representatives sent a bipartisan letter to Canadian officials urging them to engage in market access discussions regarding dairy products as a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“We write to stress to you the importance of key agricultural market access issues, such as those pertaining to diary trade, which are not yet resolved in the TPP,” the letter states, citing Canada’s unwillingness to engage in talks. “It is critical that Canada finally commit to finishing the work left undone in our prior agreements and finally commit to significant and commercially meaningful market access for all remaining agricultural products.”

If dairy access is not part of TPP, the representatives say it will be difficult for them to support Canada’s inclusion in the agreement. 

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) commended the representatives on the letter which was led by Representatives Reid Ribble (R-WI), Ron Kind (D-WI), David Valadao (R-CA) and Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

“These lawmakers understand the importance of getting the best deal from all of the countries negotiating TPP for the US dairy industry,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. "Dairy was left out of both the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement; we are not willing to support another agreement that doesn’t include significant access to Canada’s dairy market.”

IDFA is seeking market access for all dairy products across all tariff lines in the TPP negotiations.