U.S. will act 'early and often' if problems arise under USMCA: Lighthizer

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer testifies before a Senate Finance Committee hearing on "The President's 2019 Trade Policy Agenda and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will take action “early and often” to challenge violations of the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement once it takes effect on July 1, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers on Wednesday.

Lighthizer said the United States planned to initiate consultations with Mexico about its failure to approve any biotech products from the United States over the past two years, and would likely have to file a state-to-state dispute on the issue to resolve the issue.

He said the United States would also closely monitor Canada’s implementation of the agreement’s provisions on U.S. dairy sales, and would also bring a case against Canada if U.S. farmers were not getting the full benefit of the trade deal.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama