USDEC, NMPF Organize Dairy Fly-In on Capitol Hill to Build Support for Trade with Canada, Mexico
Mark O'Keefe, USDEC
Chris Galen, NMPF
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. dairy leaders from across the country visited Washington, D.C., this week to urge Congress and Trump Administration officials to hold Canada accountable for its trade violations and hasten the repeal of Canada's controversial new dairy pricing system.
During a fly-in rally organized Tuesday and Wednesday by the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), more than 40 farmers and dairy company executives fanned out on Capitol Hill to discuss the importance of trade across North America. The group emphasized that trade opportunities both north and south of the U.S. are crucial to America's dairy sector. In addition to speaking to elected officials, the members of the dairy coalition also met with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn and White House agriculture advisor Ray Starling.
"Canada's new Class 7 milk pricing scheme unfairly undercuts U.S. dairy exports to Canada and around the world. This is an economic dagger pointed at every farmer in the United States, not just those from a few states," said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. "We also were clear that the income of thousands of dairy farmers depends on the valuable partnership that we have with Mexico, our largest export market."
NMPF and USDEC member cooperative and company leaders explained to lawmakers how they have lost sales to Canada and expressed fears of the consequences of Canada dumping its milk excess onto global markets at prices far below their domestic price - in violation of Canada's trade agreement concessions.
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record. www.usdec.org.