Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) today led a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump applauding the president’s acknowledgements of Canada’s protectionist trade policies related to dairy products and advocating for swift action to ensure Canada upholds its trade agreements.
“President Trump campaigned on putting America first, and protecting American jobs,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “Today’s letter highlights how vital the U.S. dairy industry is to Western New York and dairy producing regions across the country. The U.S. dairy industry supports billions of dollars in exports and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs. Unfortunately, due to unfair competitive practices by Canada, we must take action to ensure our dairy products will be able to compete on a level playing field. I am glad President Trump has recognized how important this issue is to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, and I will continue working with my colleagues to protect the U.S. dairy industry.”
The letter which 68 lawmakers signed on to was also co-led by Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ron Kind (WI-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Suzan Delbene (WA-01), and Peter Welch (VT-AL).
The letter details Canadian trade practices that “may violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada.” It also reinforces that “our districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and cannot afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor.”
Full text of the letter along with signatories can be seen here and full text can be read below.
April 26, 2017
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20500
We write to thank you for your recent acknowledgement of Canada’s protectionist dairy policies and urge your administration to take swift action to hold Canada to its trade commitments in this area.
The U.S. dairy sector relies on its exports to survive. In 2016, the industry exported approximately 15 percent of its milk production, worth roughly $5 billion. To our NAFTA partners alone, the United States exported $1.2 billion of dairy products to Mexico and $631 million to Canada. To that end, U.S. exports helped the dairy sector maintain roughly 110,000 U.S. jobs in farming and manufacturing.
Unfortunately, Canada’s recent revisions to its milk classification system have prompted serious concerns. Canadians traditionally used five classes to price its products, ranging from fluid milks and creams to milk used for further processing. In April 2016, the Canadian province of Ontario began implementing a new milk price class, Class 6, which has dramatically altered dairy imports and skewed the market.
More recently, Canada’s newly implemented Class 7 National Ingredients Strategy has displaced current U.S. imports and is poised to negatively impact global milk powder markets. We are concerned that these programs may violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada.
The Ontario Class 6 program has already slashed U.S. exports of ultra-filtered milk starting in mid-2016 and U.S. companies are reporting further losses of contracts. The loss of these and other exports because of the Class 6 and 7 programs will continue to harm American dairy manufacturers and their supplying farms. Our districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and cannot afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor.
As your administration crafts NAFTA priorities, we must ensure that our trade partners maintain compliance with ongoing agreements. Please stand with us in enforcing current law and opposing Canadian policies that disrupt global milk powder markets and directly hurt American exports.
Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement after he inspected property damage at two homes along Lake Ontario’s southern shoreline and hosted a stakeholders meeting to discuss his coordinated efforts with both the Trump Administration and local officials to end the International Joint Commission’s (IJC) Plan 2014.
“Plan 2014 has been an utter disaster for Lake Ontario taxpayers and communities since it was approved in the final minutes of the Obama Administration,” said Congressman Collins. “Both the property damage and overflow of debris into Lake Ontario that I inspected today could have been avoided. I came here today to assure local officials and Lake Ontario homeowners that I am working with the Trump Administration to reform the IJC and repeal Plan 2014 as soon as possible.”
According to the United States Army Corps of Engineers, current water levels in Lake Ontario are already nineteen inches higher than average and are on track to rise another eleven inches by May 14th. The IJC’s inability to release water into the St. Lawrence River until the Lake’s “trigger level” has been reached has created significant property damage to businesses and communities along Lake Ontario’s southern shoreline. Congressman Collins and Niagara County officials toured impacted households and met with community members.
“We're glad Congressman Collins and his staff have been monitoring this situation with us, and taking the necessary steps to make resources available to protect lakeshore residents' safety,” said David Godfrey, Niagara County Legislator (R-Wilson). “Equally important, though, has been the Congressman's commitment to delivering change to the International Joint Commission, and ensuring that it acts to protect the people that live along the shores of our Great Lakes and boundary waterways. Plan 2014 was a serious error on the IJC's part and it needs to be repealed.”
“We appreciate Congressman Collins’ leadership on this important issue,” said Tim Horanburg, Newfane Town Supervisor. “The IJC needs to act immediately and end Plan 2014. Local shoreline homeowners and businesses are bearing the costs of the IJC’s inaction. As Supervisor, I will continue to work with Congressman Collins and our state and county partners to advocate on behalf of local homeowners and protect our shorelines.”
Following the damage inspection, Congressman Collins hosted a meeting at the Olcott Yacht Club with local stakeholders to discuss Plan 2014 and the devastating impact it is having on Lake Ontario’s water levels, local properties and businesses. Congressman Collins took this opportunity to brief attendees on his recent work in coordination with the Trump Administration to reform the IJC and protect Lake Ontario property owners. Click hereto view a list of Congressman Collins’ efforts to end Plan 2014 since he was elected.
In January 2017, Congressman Collins and Congressman John Katko (NY-24) sent correspondence to Vice President-elect Mike Pence, to bring the issue of Plan 2014 to his attention. View the letter sent to Vice President-elect Mike Pence here.
Most recently, Congressman Collins and Congressman Katko sent correspondence to President Trump in which they requested he withdraw the United States from Plan 2014 as soon as possible. Both Congressman Collins and Katko also requested the three International Joint Commission commissioners representing the United States be removed and subsequently replaced with newly appointed individuals who understand the fundamental flaws of Plan 2014. View the letter sent to President Trump here.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after recognizing United States Air Force veteran, Richard Lucas, of Bloomfield, as his office’s “Veteran of the Month.”
“It was a tremendous privilege to present Mr. Lucas with a small gesture of appreciation for his service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War,” said Congressman Collins. “We owe Mr. Lucas a tremendous debt of gratitude for his service to our nation as a member of the U.S. Air Force and his service to his community after he returned home. Mr. Lucas is a true patriot, and the members of the Honeoye-Hemlock American Legion are well represented under his command.”
Richard Lucas joined the Army Air Corps in 1942, and served in the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft repairman from its establishment in 1947 until he retired in September 1964. In World War II, Mr. Lucas was sent overseas during the Occupation of Germany to assist with the transfer of over 1,500 Prisoners of War back to Europe. Mr. Lucas also served during the Korean and the Vietnam wars. Mr. Lucas has worked with charitable and community organizations throughout the country, including various Recreation and Youth Centers, the “Hope for Angels” charity, and his local American Legion Post in Honeoye, N.Y. At 95 years of age, Mr. Lucas still serves as the Commander of the Honeoye-Hemlock American Legion Post #1278.
Amongst friends, family, and fellow members of the Honeoye-Hemlock American Legion Post #1278, Mr. Lucas was presented with an American Flag that was flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. and a Congressional Certificate of Commendation.
To nominate a NY-27 “Veteran of the Month,” please submit an inquiry to NY27Veteran@mail.house.gov, or contact our Lancaster district office at (716) 634-2324.
Congressman Chris Collins today released the following statement after he was presented with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s annual Spirit of Enterprise Award. This award was presented to Congressman Collins in recognition of his support of pro-growth policies in the second session of the 114th Congress.
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce works tirelessly to ensure Congress is supporting policies that will help grow our economy and create more jobs here in America,” said Congressman Collins. “I fully support the Chamber’s mission, and as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee I am able to push for those pro-growth policies that will help businesses in Western New York succeed and expand. I am honored to receive this year’s Spirit of Enterprise Award and I want to thank the Chamber for its continued advocacy on behalf of over 3 million U.S. businesses.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award is given annually to members of Congress based on their votes on critical business and job legislation, as outlined in the Chamber’s annual scorecard. Members of Congress were scored on votes related to access to capital for small businesses, ensuring our workforce has the skills necessary for the jobs of tomorrow, and helping American manufacturers compete in a global economy.
After supporting legislation such as the “Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools, and Nonprofits Act” and the “Supporting America’s Innovators Act of 2016,” Congressman Collins received a “100% 2016 Score” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Please click here to view additional pro-growth policies that Congressman Collins supported in the second session of the 114th Congress.
For pictures from today’s presentation ceremony, view our office’s Flickr album.
For more information about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Enterprise Award, please visit: https://www.uschamber.com/press-release/us-chamber-recognizes-321-members-congress-pro-business-votes.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after President Trump signed an executive order to support American manufacturing and bolster America’s job growth.
“In implementing a ‘Buy American, Hire American’ federal initiative, President Trump has delivered on one of his most important promises to the American people. Voters here in Western New York supported President Trump because for too long, status quo politicians have put the economic interests of foreign nations ahead of our own and have left too many promises unfulfilled. If we want our community and our country to succeed, we need to put people back to work and get back to ‘Made in America.’ Today’s executive action is a significant step in accomplishing those goals. I commend President Trump for putting America first and working to bring our jobs home."
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today announced $22,691 in federal funding for the Victor-Farmington Volunteer Ambulance Corp. The grant was allocated through the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, which is designed to help first responders improve their capability to respond to fires and emergencies of all types.
“Financial limitations should not prevent our first responders from accessing the equipment necessary to keep our communities safe in the event of an emergency,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “The AFG program is a great opportunity for first responders to utilize federal funding to purchase new equipment and improve resources that will undoubtedly help maintain the safety of our local communities. I was honored to work with the Victor-Farmington Volunteer Ambulance Corp. to secure this $22,691 in AFG funding.”
“This grant from FEMA will allow our agency to make a first time purchase of two cardiac chest compression devices to be in service on two of our first-out ambulances,” said Jeremy Hotchkiss, Deputy Chief of the Victor-Farmington Volunteer Ambulance Corp. “The cardiac chest compression devices will compliment our two recently obtained cardiac monitors and will eliminate the need for first responders to conduct manual chest compressions during CPR-related incidents. We’re thankful to FEMA for this award and Congressman Collins for his continued support. We look forward to using this equipment to increase chances of survival during a cardiac-arrest emergency.”
This federal grant will allow the Victor-Farmington Volunteer Ambulance Corp. to purchase two cardiac chest compression devices. Cardiac chest compression devices help to sustain a higher blood flow to the brain and heart compared to manual compressions. Access to these devices also allow first responders to focus on other life-saving tasks and creates new rescue opportunities.
The AFG Grant Program provides direct funding assistance to fire departments, State Fire Training Academies, and non-affiliated EMS organizations to enhance their response capabilities and to more effectively protect the health and safety of both the public and emergency response personnel with respect to fire and all other hazards.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement announcing the winner, runner up, and honorable mentions of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition. Congressman Collins joined participating high school students and their families at the Roz Steiner Art Gallery, located on the Genesee Community College campus, for a brief reception before announcing this year’s winner.
“The Congressional Art Competition is a great opportunity for high school students throughout New York’s 27th Congressional District to showcase their artistic talents and creativity,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “While each of the 71 artwork submissions were extremely well done, our competition judges selected Leah Buddenhagen, from Niagara Wheatfield Senior High School, as this year’s winner. I look forward to welcoming Leah and her family to Washington D.C. to join high school artists from throughout the nation.”
This year’s Congressional Art Competition displayed the artwork of 71 high school students from eighteen high schools within New York’s 27th Congressional District. The 2017 winner, Leah Buddenhagen, will receive a round trip flight to Washington, D.C., where she will join hundreds of high school artists nationwide to see their artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.
Pictures from the 2017 Congressional Art Competition, the presentation of awards, and reception can be viewed on Congressman Collins’ office Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskSzYcnM.
2017 Congressional Art Competition Winners
Leah Buddenhagen, Niagara Wheatfield Senior High School
Maya Lake, Medina High School
Madeline Keenan, Batavia High School
Zackary Dubel, Iroquois Central High School
Congressman Chris Collins would like to extend a special thanks to Genesee Community College and President James Sunser, the art competition judges, Roz Steiner Art Gallery Director Mary Jo Whitman and Associate Professor of Fine Arts Heather Jones, and all of the teachers, parents and students who participated in this year’s Congressional Art Competition for making this event a success.
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the United States conducted military strikes against Syria.
“Bashar al-Assad’s barbaric actions against innocent children and civilians were tolerated for too long. President Trump promised Americans he would stand up to our enemies, and he delivered on that promise. Last night’s military actions demonstrated American strength and leadership. It reassured our allies and let our enemies know the status quo will no longer be tolerated.”
Michael McAdams, spokesman for Congressman Chris Collins, released the following statement regarding Governor Cuomo’s latest stunt.
“After two weeks of kicking and screaming, we are happy to see that Governor Cuomo now recognizes his current policy of forcing local property taxpayers to subsidize New York’s share of Medicaid is unsustainable. However, more federal money to pay for New York’s extravagant Medicaid spending is not the answer. New York already spends 44% more per Medicaid recipient than the national average and its Medicaid program costs more than those of Texas and Florida combined.
“The Governor needs to find 1.5% in his budget, or use some of his $14 billion taxpayer funded slush fund, to achieve the $2.3 billion in savings it will take to provide real property tax relief to the hardworking men and women of upstate New York. The Governor can rest assured that upstate voters will be watching his performance on this issue very carefully.”Read More
Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement regarding the American Health Care Act.
“I am extremely disappointed with today’s result,” said Congressman Chris Collins. “This bill, while not perfect, was a solution that would have ended the Obamacare nightmare that Western New Yorkers have had to endure for too long. By increasing competition and giving people the power to make their own choices with their own health care, the American Health Care Act would have been a drastic improvement over the healthcare system Obamacare has left us with.
“Despite, today’s result, this process has provided the opportunity to push for reforms vital to Western New York, specifically my amendment to force Albany to end its unfunded mandate on New York’s counties once and for all. I will continue advocating for that critical measure going forward and will remain resolute in my commitment to the taxpayers in my district.”
1117 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Chris Collins represents New York’s 27th Congressional District in the House of Representatives. The 27th District of New York includes 105 towns spread out over eight counties in Western New York and the Finger Lakes. The residents of NY-27 elected Mr. Collins to Congress in November of 2012.
Congressman Collins serves as a member of the House Small Business, Agriculture and Science, Space and Technology committees. He is also the Chair of the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, which is charged with examining how the cost of healthcare is impacting American small businesses.
Congressman Collins comes to Capitol Hill with both private and public sector experience. Before being elected to Congress, Chris served as Erie County Executive and built a career as a business owner and entrepreneur, creating and saving hundreds of American jobs in Western New York.
A mechanical engineer, the Congressman began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric in 1972. Chris lives in Clarence, NY with his wife Mary. He has three children and three grandchildren and remains active with the Greater Niagara Frontier Council Boy Scouts of America.