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REP. KATKO HIGHLIGHTS IMPACT OF UNFAIR TRADE POLICIES ON LOCAL INDUSTRY

May 11, 2017
Press Release
Following tours of Byrne Dairy Ultra Dairy Plant in Dewitt, Nucor Steel in Auburn, Rep. Katko Details Need to Address Harmful Dairy, Steel, Aluminum Trade Policies

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) today highlighted the need to protect some of Central New York’s most vital industries from unfair trade practices.

“While trade can be of great benefit to our nation, currently, industries critical to Central New York’s economic future – including our dairy, steel, and aluminum industries – are falling victim to the unfair actions of other countries,” said Rep. Katko. “Our local companies can certainly hold their own against anyone when the playing field is level, and trade terms are fair.  But when other countries put the full power of the state behind their producers by creating market distortions and providing unfair subsidies, the growth and survival of our local producers is at risk.”

Standing before Byrne Dairy’s Ultra Dairy milk processing facility in Dewitt today, Rep. Katko detailed the impact of protectionist Canadian dairy policies on local milk processors, like Byrne Dairy, and the 300 local and family dairy farms that provide milk for Byrne’s manufacturing facilities.  Recently, Canada made several revisions to its dairy policy, altering milk pricing programs to incentivize Canadian producers to buy ultra-filtered milk from Canadian farmers, rather than U.S. farmers. 

“Canadian protectionist dairy policies have made it nearly impossible for our U.S. producers to compete,” continued Rep. Katko. “The recent policy changes have shifted global milk markets and our local dairy farmers and milk processers are feeling the effects right here in Central New York.  That’s why I’ve urged the Administration to take action by prioritizing this issue in upcoming NAFTA discussions.”

Katko, who spent time yesterday at Nucor Steel in Auburn, and who has previously visited Novelis in Oswego, also raised the troubles facing the steel and aluminum industries because other nations, particularly China, are dumping heavily-subsidized products on the world market.

“While the steel and aluminum industries here in Central New York certainly face different challenges than the dairy industry, they too have been gravely impacted by unfair trade policies.  Currently, there is as global production overcapacity crisis confronting these important regional industries which has led to an increase in unfairly traded imports entering the U.S. market,” said Katko. “Foreign state-owned enterprises are not subject to the discipline of markets and can provide their companies with financial advantages by pumping in limitless cash to boost supply, even when there is insufficient market demand for what they're producing.    This makes it difficult for our domestic manufacturers here in CNY to stay competitive, since they don’t have the same special advantages.  For this reason, I’ve repeatedly urged the Department of Commerce to vigorously enforce all trade laws and, next week, I’ll testify at a public hearing of the U.S. International Trade Commission regarding unfair foreign trade practices in the rebar manufacturing industry, which is the primary product of Nucor’s Auburn facility.”

In Congress, Rep. Katko has:

  • Urged the Administration to prioritize addressing Canada’s protectionist dairy policies in upcoming discussions with our NAFTA partners. 
  • Repeatedly urged the Department of Commerce to enforce all trade laws.
  • Called on the United States International Trade Commission to continue looking into steel and aluminum dumping.

“Ensuring global market fairness is vital to the competitive conditions facing both our local dairy farmers and manufacturers and our regional aluminum and steelworkers,” concluded Katko. “We owe it to our workers to do everything we can to level the playing field.  I am grateful that President Trump not only realizes the importance of fighting for fair trade terms, but that he has elevated the issue, and is committed to fighting for our local workers.”

Congressman John Katko represents the 24th Congressional District, which includes all of Onondaga, Cayuga, and Wayne Counties and the western portion of Oswego County.  For more information, please visit https://katko.house.gov or www.facebook.com/RepJohnKatko.

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