March 15, 2017

U.S. Dairy Leaders Promise Commitment to Mexico

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

This week leaders of three major dairy groups were in Mexico in an attempt to repair strained relationships between the U.S. and Mexico on trade.  

“We have always seen Mexico as a partner first and a customer second,” U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) President and CEO Tom Vilsack told Mexican dairy leaders attending the National Dairy Forum in Mexico City. “That’s why we intend to continue working with you and your industry to expand the consumption of dairy products in a way that benefits both countries.”

Mexican dairy leaders question President Trump’s recent policies on immigration and his desire to renegotiate NAFTA which has been a good trade deal for the dairy industries in both the U.S. and Mexico.

Dairy Leaders

“Mexico is our friend, ally and most important trading partner,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “Our goal this week in visiting Mexico is to communicate our steadfast commitment to our partnership with the Mexican industry, even as we continue to explore ways to deepen that relationship by working on issues of mutual benefit.”

While Mexico does have a growing dairy industry, but still relies on the U.S. to meet its milk consumption needs.

"The United States proudly provides the majority of imported dairy products to Mexican consumers,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., President and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association, which represents dairy food companies and their suppliers. “We strongly believe that it’s in the best interest of both countries to preserve and enhance our excellent trade relationship, now and in the future.”

Mulhern Mexico

According to a joint press release, Vilsack and Mulhern spoke at the Femeleche conference in Mexico City, which was comprised of Mexican dairy industry leaders, farmers and government officials. The U.S. dairy leaders are also meeting with a variety of government officials, including the Mexican Minister of Agriculture and the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.