Dairy Leaders Join Agriculture Groups at Capitol to Underscore Importance of USMCA
Luke Waring, USDEC
Alan Bjerga, NMPF
ARLINGTON, VA - After traveling across the country in support of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Farmers for Free Trade Motorcade for Trade made a final stop today in front of the U.S. Capitol, where the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) joined other agriculture groups and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle at a rally to tout the trade benefits of USMCA. USDEC and NMPF are both members of Farmers for Free Trade and have been actively involved in this motorcade campaign, which included stops at multiple dairy farms.
Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC, addressed the rally and touted the improvements USMCA makes to NAFTA. In addition to other agriculture sector benefits in the agreement, USMCA includes several provisions that will greatly benefit the U.S. dairy industry: USMCA secures the valuable relationship U.S. dairy shares with Mexico while establishing new protections for common cheese names and makes important changes to Canada's trade-distorting dairy policies, while also opening new opportunities for U.S. dairy exports to Canada.
"USMCA provides a much-needed upgrade to the trade rules, securing a brighter future for the export of American-made food and agricultural products to our North American neighbors," Vilsack said. "The positive impacts of this trade deal will be felt throughout the economy, as increased exports help drive jobs tied to food and agriculture production across the heartland. Moreover, the passage of USMCA will send a clear message that the U.S. values robust, rules-based trade with our allies and will give the U.S. the momentum necessary to execute a productive trade agenda that delivers positive benefits for America."
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, said, "Restoring certainty to our trade relationships and bolstering the prospects for dairy exports by passing USMCA will bring important benefits to the dairy farmers and rural economies that rely on these export markets," said Mulhern. "America's farmers are counting on Congress and the Administration to work together to secure passage of USMCA, and soon." Mulhern previously participated in a Motorcade for Trade event held at a dairy farm in Wisconsin.
Under USMCA, U.S. dairy exports will ultimately increase by more than $314 million a year, according to the International Trade Commission. And the U.S. dairy industry estimates that over the first six years of implementation, USMCA will bolster dairy farm revenue by an additional $548 million.
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.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), 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.