October 4, 2017

What Would U.S. Dairy Consider A NAFTA Win?

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

The U.S., Mexico and Canada are preparing for the fourth round of NAFTA negotiations which are scheduled to take place next week in Washington, D.C. According to Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), negotiators from the U.S. are planning to put forth their proposals on dairy policy and other market access issues at that time. What would NMPF consider a win?

“We are pushing very hard for improvements in the U.S. Canada relationship on dairy and working hard to make sure that no harm is done to the U.S. Mexico relationship currently in place,” Mulhern told AgriTalk host Mike Adams.

Mulhern says dairy policy has traditionally been left out of NAFTA negotiations and that the relationship between American and Canadian dairy industries has continually become more frustrating.

“Canada maintains very high tariffs, which means that you really can’t [dairy products] into Canada,” he says. “What has really put them over the top is the national ingredients strategy Canada implemented in the spring.”

Getting rid of Class 7, which analysists is part of the crux of the issue, is not enough, according to Mulhern.  

“We need to go further. This is a free trade agreement,” he says. “If you’re going to have a free trade agreement there must be trade. We need a more normalized integrated market like we have with Mexico.”