July 15, 2019

Trump: Dairy Farmers are "Over The Hump"

 |  By: Mike Opperman

President Donald Trump visited Milwaukee, Wisconsin last week to raise money and support for the U.S. Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) that he says will help U.S. manufacturing and agricultural industries. 

In his remarks, President Trump said the USMCA would help Wisconsin dairy farmers by providing access to Canada’s market, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and painted an optimistic picture of the Wisconsin dairy industry.

“These are great American patriots,” Trump said. “Some of the farmers are doing well. We’re over the hump. We’re doing really well.”

Although prices have rebounded over the past few months, Wisconsin lost nearly 700 dairy farmers in 2018. In 2018, for the third straight year, Wisconsin led the nation in the number of farm bankruptcies. 

In his speech, President Trump also mentioned the new $16 billion 2019 Market Facilitation Program for farmers and ranchers affected by retaliatory tariffs. 

“Now things are pretty good because we are doing $16 billion, and that was the most that China ever purchased,” Trump said according to Politico. 

While exports of dairy products to other parts of the world remain strong, exports to China have fallen off considerably due to tariffs. In Wisconsin alone, exports to China have dropped $134 million, or 25%, in the first four months of 2019 compared to last year, Politico reports. A large portion of this drop has come from lower whey exports, due primarily to the proliferation of African swine fever that has reduced demand.