UDEC commends USMCA agreement

The US dairy industry commended the White House and Congress for reaching a deal on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and urged lawmakers to vote swiftly on legislation implementing the trade pact.

“Passing USMCA would be boon to America’s dairy farmers,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation. “USMCA will expand trade opportunities with our most valuable partners and secure immediate benefits for our rural communities, adding an estimated $548 million to dairy-farm revenues in its first six years after implementation.

“Newly announced improvements to USMCA will also ensure that if our trading partners flout their dairy obligations under the trade deal, the US has the tools it needs to vigorously enforce our rights. An already good deal for US dairy farmers is even better now, thanks to these changes.”

The US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) said it would specifically like to thank Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, who “provided enormous leadership” working with members of Congress to address their concerns, as well as the work of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress who worked hard to find solutions that addressed concerns over the agreement.

“Washington has worked hard to make USMCA an even better deal for America’s dairy farmers and exporters; now we are counting on Congress to move expeditiously to pass USMCA and usher in its significant improvements to trade rules,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the US Dairy Export Council.

“Finalising USMCA will bolster international confidence in the US as a serious negotiating partner and build momentum for other trade agreements in key markets abroad. Without this crucial trade agreement, Made-in-America dairy and agriculture products could be left behind in the new year.”

USMCA makes important changes to Canada’s trade-distorting policies, reforms Canada’s controversial dairy pricing system and provides exclusive access to the Canadian market for US farmers and manufacturers. The trade deal also strengthens relationships with Mexico and establishes new protections for common cheese names, using a combination of approaches to protect the continued use of a number of generic cheese terms, such as parmesan and feta.

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