Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, stressed the importance of trade to the U.S. dairy industry in his June 28 column for Cheese Market News. Here's an excerpt.

While 2018 delivered record exports for the dairy industry, we’re now beginning to see significant disruptions in U.S. food and agriculture trade with key trading partners. As a result, the first quarter of 2019 has been a dismal one for dairy exports. Mexico is the number one market for many American-made and -grown products.

"Last year, we shipped $1.4 billion of milk, cheese, whey, ice cream and other dairy items to Mexico. But as 2019 has worn on, ongoing trade disputes with Mexico have begun to take a toll, biting into U.S. exports and squeezing American jobs.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lowered its expectations for trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada, citing domestic factors and trade uncertainty. Clearly, retaliatory tariffs from Mexico and China are affecting U.S. dairy exports in a substantial way."

Read the full column here.