‘Stakes High’ in Trade War
Edge Dairy Cooperative, which provides market information and milk testing verification services for 800 dairy farms in nine Midwestern states, says last week’s announcement by the Trump Administration to issue tariffs on trading partners is a “high stakes” approach to trade negotiations.
Brody Stapel, a dairy farmer from Cedar Grove, Wis., and Edge’s president, says his co-op’s goal is to expand global markets with no net losses from existing trade agreements. “We should be nurturing more trade opportunities and not disrupting long-standing favorable relationships,” he says.
He notes that sales to Mexico accounts for nearly a fourth of all U.S. dairy exports, enough to support 1,500 dairy farms and 25,000 jobs.
His full statement: “Dairy farmers and processors simply cannot afford a trade war that will choke off access to major partners. This is especially true of Mexico, which buys nearly a quarter of all dairy products exported by the United States. That amounted to $1.3 billion last year, enough to support 1,500 dairy farms and 25,000 jobs. The stakes are high.
“U.S. dairy has become an important player in the global marketplace. The fallout from the tariffs, which underscores how interconnected the markets are, would undermine this progress. With the demand for protein steadily growing around the world, we have tremendous opportunities and we need to be free to pursue them.
“Edge has a straightforward trade objective: Expand access to global markets with no net loss to existing ones. We should be nurturing more trade opportunities and not disrupting long-standing favorable relationships.
“That is the message we are communicating to the administration, particularly top-level officials at U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as well as our members of Congress.
“We hope this tariff approach is not the endgame and that there will be a quick and favorable resolution to prevent what could be tragic losses for farmers and the businesses that support them.”
For more information on Edge Cooperative, go to: voiceofmilk.com