U.S. Dairy Industry Commends Breakthrough on USMCA, Urges Swift Passage of Deal
Luke Waring, USDEC
Alan Bjerga, NMPF
ARLINGTON, VA -- The U.S. dairy industry commended the White House and Congress for reaching a deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and urged lawmakers to vote swiftly on legislation implementing the trade pact.
"Passing USMCA would be boon to America's dairy farmers," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. "USMCA will expand trade opportunities with our most valuable partners and secure immediate benefits for our rural communities, adding an estimated $548 million to dairy-farm revenues in its first six years after implementation. Newly announced improvements to USMCA will also ensure that if our trading partners flout their dairy obligations under the trade deal, the U.S. has the tools it needs to vigorously enforce our rights. An already good deal for U.S. dairy farmers is even better now, thanks to these changes."
Our membership would specifically like to thank Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, who provided enormous leadership working with members of Congress to address their concerns, as well as the work of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress who worked hard to find solutions that addressed concerns over the agreement.
Now it's up to Congress to quickly finalize USMCA and secure its benefits for America's dairy industry this year.
"Washington has worked hard to make USMCA an even better deal for America's dairy farmers and exporters; now we are counting on Congress to move expeditiously to pass USMCA and usher in its significant improvements to trade rules," said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. "Finalizing USMCA will bolster international confidence in the U.S. as a serious negotiating partner and build momentum for other trade agreements in key markets abroad. Without this crucial trade agreement, Made-in-America dairy and agriculture products could be left behind in the new year."
USMCA makes important changes to Canada's trade-distorting policies, reforms Canada's controversial dairy pricing system and provides exclusive access to the Canadian market for U.S. farmers and manufacturers. The trade deal also strengthens our relationship with Mexico and establishes new protections for common cheese names, using a combination of approaches to protect the continued use of a number of generic cheese terms, such as parmesan and feta.
Important advancements made during negotiations between lawmakers and the White House included an enhanced Dispute Settlement process for enforcing the agreement's measures. This stronger enforcement mechanism gives the dairy industry greater assurance that USMCA's gains will be fully realized.
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.