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Members: Support USMCA by Signing Joint Letter to Congress

May 16, 2019

IDFA is inviting every member to sign a joint letter to Congress that calls for ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). With signatures from hundreds of dairy companies, as well as other food and agricultural organizations, the letter will demonstrate the powerful and unified support of the dairy industry and other segments of the U.S. food value chain for the trade pact. The deadline for signatures is May 28.

The joint letter will be sent to all members of Congress soon after they receive the draft statement of administrative action from the White House. This draft statement and the final text of the agreement must reach Congress at least 30 days before the implementing bill, according to the fast-track process under the Trade Promotion Authority. Although the exact timing is unknown, IDFA expects this next step could happen in the next few weeks.

“Thanks to strong advocacy by IDFA on your behalf, USMCA meets the U.S. dairy industry’s top priorities, including preserving duty-free market access to Mexico, eliminating the Canadian Class 7 pricing program and increasing market access to the Canadian market,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “Our members have continued to underscore that the new agreement includes important improvements that will expand exports of American dairy products to Canada and Mexico while enabling dairy products to trade more fairly—and for that, we are grateful to you.”

Dykes urges members to continue their efforts by signing the letter and helping to make dairy’s voice even stronger on Capitol Hill. Once they log in and read the letter, members may indicate their interest in signing here.

Providing Certainty

The International Trade Commission’s recent analysis showed that the USMCA would pump an additional $2.2 billion into the U.S. economy through increases in agricultural and food exports. Other expected benefits of the pact include enhancing standards for biotechnology; reducing the use of trade distorting policies; establishing modern, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary standards; reinforcing disciplines for science-based SPS measures; improving grading standards and services; facilitating the marketing of food and agricultural products; and strengthening safeguards for commonly used food names.

“These advances help provide certainty in the North American market, which is essential to the success of American agriculture and retailers,” the letter states. “Given the significance of USMCA for the U.S. agriculture and food industry, we strongly urge that it be considered quickly, and we respectfully ask you to vote to ratify the agreement.”

Members with questions may contact Beth Hughes, IDFA senior director of international affairs, at bhughes@idfa.com.

 
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