The American Dairy Coalition, is asking the House to come to a consensus with the White House on their remaining concerns with the USMCA and expedite a vote to pass this pending trade deal that will replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The fragile dairy industry cannot afford to hold off and wait while more and more dairy farms continue to go out of business. Dairy farmers continue to weather an unprecedented crisis period, suffering from low profitability due to retaliatory tariffs, low milk prices and historic rain events.
The USMCA is crucial to the future of the agriculture and dairy industry. With 43 million jobs and 20 percent of the American economy tied to agriculture, the USMCA significantly boosts the possibilities to improve trade with two of the United States’ top trading partners, Mexico and Canada. During this time of extended economic uncertainty for the dairy industry, the expedient passage of this agreement is of dire need.
A level playing field is necessary for a robust dairy industry, making necessary a solution to end the imbalanced dairy pricing structure in Canada. The USMCA would open the possibilities for U.S. products to be competitive across our borders. Passage would bring in an anticipated several hundred million dollars of trade opportunities in dairy as a result of this agreement. Further, the passage of USMCA would set the tone to improve trade prospects with other countries, most notably with Japan.
Of increased importance is prompt passage of the agreement. With the looming onset of the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, the necessary votes needed to pass USMCA may be lost if the process is carried into 2020. With $9.4 billion in total agricultural exports annually on the line, the importance of passage of this agreement cannot be understated.
“Trade will be essential to reviving commodity prices and turning the tide of the deep and prolonged recession of the dairy economy,” said ADC President, Walt Moore. “The current lack of a trade deal with Mexico and Canada is costing us. Dairy farmers need Congress to push this through and push it through quickly.”