Hilmar CEO Comments on Trade Deal

David Ahlem, CEO & President Hilmar Cheese Company, Inc.

I am pleased that we have reached an agreement and appreciate all the efforts of the USTR to bring us to this place.  The USMCA preserves free trade with Mexico, eliminates Canada's Class 7, and provides more certainty about the future.

But, we can't take a victory lap yet.  As long as the steel and aluminum tariffs remain in place, the retaliatory tariffs on cheese remain. These effectively close the cheese market to us in Mexico. We urge the administration to remove the steel and aluminum tariffs. This will allow dairy to take advantage of the USMCA.

And more agreements are urgently needed. Agriculture and food is the largest manufacturing sector in the US providing jobs, building communities and feeding people. We encourage the administration to actively pursue trade agreements that open market access, remove artificial barriers and create market certainty.