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IDFA Joins Food and Ag Leaders Calling on Congress to Pass USMCA

Jun 11, 2019

Last week, the United States and Mexico averted a major disruption in trade between the two nations by reaching an agreement to help stem the flow of migrants from Mexico into the United States at the border. With the tariff situation resolved for now, IDFA is working alongside other food and agriculture groups to advocate for swift passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Mexico and Canada are the number one and two markets, respectively, for dairy exports.

On Monday, IDFA joined forces with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council in a letter to all members of Congress advocating for swift passage of USMCA. “On behalf of the dairy farms and businesses in your district,” they said in the letter, “please pursue a USMCA vote without delay by working to resolve any outstanding issues as swiftly as possible and then quickly ratify the trade deal to send a clear message to the world that America still values fair trade and robust trade partnerships with our allies.”

IDFA also joined nearly 1,000 food and agriculture associations, organizations and companies in a similar letter sent Tuesday to all members of Congress. It reads: “USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, and will ultimately lead to freer markets and fairer trade. This modernized trade agreement makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.”

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the existing trade pact between the three countries, but USMCA would provide many important updates for U.S. companies, including dairy.

USMCA meets the U.S. dairy industry’s top priorities of ensuring a more-level playing field, including preserving duty-free market access to Mexico; eliminating the unfair Canadian Class 7 pricing program; and increasing market access to the Canadian market. The U.S. dairy industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs in the United States and pumps $620 billion into the U.S. economy, is making a strong appeal to Congress to vote to ratify this important trade deal.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA senior director of international affairs, at bhughes@idfa.org.

 
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