May 31, 2018

Mexico, Canada To Impose Counter Tariffs On Cheese, Yogurt

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

Following the White House announcement that President Trump plans to impose steel tariffs on the EU, Canada and Mexico, our North American neighbors took action of their own countering with tariffs on cheese and yogurt.


The Mexican government was the first to announce retaliatory tariffs on dairy products.


“Faced with tariffs imposed by the U.S., Mexico will impose equivalent measures to various products such as flat steel (hot and cold foil, including coated and various tubes), lamps, pork legs and shoulders, sausages and food preparations, apples, grapes, blueberries, various cheeses, among others,” the government of Mexico said in a May 31 statement.


As our No. 1 dairy export customer a Mexican tariff on cheese stands to significantly hurt dairy producers. According to data from U.S. Dairy Export Council, in March alone, the U.S. sent 8,706 metric tons of cheese to Mexico, roughly 2,000 tons more than what was shipped to South Korea, the next closest market .


According to the Department of Finance Canada, retaliatory measures from our northern neighbors included tariffs on U.S. steel and aluminum and a wide array of consumer goods including yogurt.  USDEC data shows that in March U.S. dairy products sold to Canada totaled $55 million.


While it’s unclear how these tariffs will impact milk prices, milk futures closed lower on Thursday as traders and analysts swim through the uncertainty.