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Bipartisan Push to Expand U.S. Grain Exports to Canada
USAgNet - 07/15/2019

U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) joined a bipartisan group of Senators pushing Trump Administration trade officials to negotiate fewer restriction on U.S. grain exports to Canada under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA).

The Senators pressed for action in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Gregg Doud. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.) joined Smith on the letter.

"The grain article in the agreement is a significant area of interest for North Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana grain producers," the senators wrote. "The ability for our growers to export wheat of domestic origin to Canada has been long sought as a measure to level the playing field for our producers."

The group of senators specifically pointed to issues regarding Canada's Variety Registration System (VRS).

"Our producers remain concerned that access to Canada's market will continue to be inhibited based on Canada's requirement that strictly limits the varieties of wheat that can be included in its premium classes," they continued.

The group urged the administration to work with Canada to address their concerns if a revised USMCA is approved by Congress.

"We look forward to working closely with you and relevant stakeholders," they concluded, "to find an approach that is mutually acceptable to both parties and does not unnecessarily restrict trade."

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