Statement from Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President & CEO of the IDFA on USMCA Progress

International Dairy Foods Association

“What a great day for U.S. dairy and all of American agriculture. With a smooth path ahead for the USMCA agreement, America’s dairy industry anticipates a bright future and continued growth through exports to Canada and Mexico. Once ratified, the new USMCA deal also delivers peace of mind for our businesses, removing the handcuffs of uncertainty that have constrained business decisions over the past two years as the deal was negotiated. Make no mistake about it, for the U.S. dairy industry—farmers, processors, and suppliers—the USMCA deal is a major win that levels the playing field with our largest trading partners. It preserves hundreds-of-thousands of jobs in U.S. food and agriculture directly attributed to trade with Canada and Mexico. It removes several overly protective policies that had hampered U.S. agricultural exports. And it will raise U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion and pump an additional $2.2 billion, or 1.1%, into the U.S. economy through increases in agricultural and food exports.

“Many people made this day possible. Foremost are the members of the International Dairy Foods Association—more than 450 businesses throughout the dairy value chain from dairy cooperatives to processors and retailers who understand the importance of exports and trade to the more than 3 million Americans who rely on dairy for jobs and income. Our IDFA members participated in dozens of meetings and events to show their support for passage of USCMA. On many occasions, we spoke directly to members of Congress and officials in the Trump Administration about how crucial this agreement is to the future of American dairy. We also worked as part of a persistent coalition of more than 1,000 food and agricultural businesses and organizations that united to raise our voices in support of USMCA.

“Our dairy industry is also grateful that a true spirit of bipartisanship has carried the day. For the many months we engaged with Democrats and Republicans, civil servants and political appointees, diplomats and business leaders, we saw and heard an overwhelming desire to work together to get this deal done for the American people and our businesses. It’s a good thing to see all sides come together around a comprehensive trade deal that will grow our economy and give more American businesses and workers the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.”

A video message from Michael Dykes:

  U.S. dairy exports to Mexico and Canada totaled more than $2.1 billion in 2018, or roughly 40% of total U.S. dairy exports. Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under the current North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018 and helping support more than 325,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy.

For dairy, USMCA preserves the Mexican market, eliminates Canada’s Class 7 pricing program, increases market access to the Canadian market and strengthens provisions to protect common cheese names.

The success of the U.S. dairy industry depends on our critical North American partnerships.

In April 2019, the International Trade Commission reported that USMCA would raise U.S. GDP by $68.2 billion and pump an additional $2.2 billion, or 1.1%, into the U.S. economy through increases in agricultural and food exports.

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