FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Peggy Armstrong
Notes the President’s Mention of the Importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement to the Growth of the Food and Agriculture Sector
(Washington, D.C. – January 8, 2018) The International Dairy Foods Association released the following statement by Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, regarding the Trump administration’s announcement of the recommendations made by the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity.
“The International Dairy Foods Association commends President Donald Trump and his administration for prioritizing rural workforce development in a new commitment to bring prosperity back to rural communities.
“Announced at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting today, the administration’s task force recommendations highlight the critical connection between investing in the rural workforce and strengthening American manufacturing.
“Our dairy foods companies, which are predominately located in rural communities, employ nearly 1 million skilled individuals, generate more than $39 billion in direct wages and have an overall economic impact of more than $200 billion according to Dairy Delivers, IDFA’s economic impact tool.
“With the training and educational investments, expanded apprenticeship programs and access to career development programs the President outlined today, dairy companies will be able to continue providing job opportunities in thousands of rural communities across the United States.
“The President’s additional comments on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) today seem to indicate a deepening understanding of the critical connection between trade agreements and the farming community. He has heard from rural America that trade is woven into the fabric of our businesses. We are pleased that he is listening and hopeful for positive momentum moving forward.
“We would also like to thank Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for his leadership of the task force that resulted in more than 100 recommendations for the federal government to help improve life in rural America. We are very appreciative of the Secretary’s continued support for a successful renegotiation of NAFTA and for advocating on behalf of proactive trade agreements with other countries.”
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, that employs nearly 1 million skilled individuals, generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $200 billion. IDFA is the umbrella organization for the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA).
Our members range from large multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Our diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers and companies that offer infant formula and a wide variety of milk ingredients.