Milk tankers gleam in the sun.
December 6, 2016

NMPF, USDEC Write to Trump About Importance of Dairy Trade

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) have sent a joint letter to President-elect Donald Trump, emphasizing the importance of global dairy trade.

Trump has vowed to stop the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement in its tracks the day he takes office, though estimates show it could result in $150 to $300 million annually in additional dairy exports. He has also threatened to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. U.S. dairy export sales to Mexico in 2015 was $1.2 billion, or two thirds of its total dairy imports. Last year, the U.S. also exported $427 million worth of dairy products to Canada.

NMPF and USDEC  note that dairy exports have grown to more than $5 billion annually, generating more than 120,000 jobs in dairy farming, manufacturing and related sectors. The groups say that exports now require the equivalent of one day’s milk production each week, noting loss of those exports would have “dire impacts on American dairy farmers and manufacturing jobs at U.S. companies.”

They also point out the need to ramp-up trade enforcement. “From protectionist Canadian dairy policies to European abuse of geographical indications to India’s long-standing blockage of U.S. dairy exports, nontariff barriers to U.S. agricultural exports are a real threat,” say Jim Mulhern, NMPF CEO and Tom Suber, USDEC president.