After traveling across the country in support of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the Farmers for Free Trade Motorcade for Trade made a final stop today in front of the U.S. Capitol. There, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), both headquartered in Arlington, Va., said they joined other agriculture groups and members of Congress from both sides of the aisle at a rally to tout the trade benefits of USMCA. USDEC and NMPF are both members of Farmers for Free Trade and have been actively involved in this motorcade campaign, which included stops at multiple dairy farms.
Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC, addressed the rally and touted the improvements USMCA makes to NAFTA. In addition to other agriculture sector benefits in the agreement, USMCA includes several provisions that will greatly benefit the U.S. dairy industry. It secures the valuable relationship U.S. dairy shares with Mexico while establishing new protections for common cheese names. It also makes important changes to Canada’s trade-distorting dairy policies, the organizations said, while also opening new opportunities for U.S. dairy exports to Canada.
“USMCA provides a much-needed upgrade to the trade rules, securing a brighter future for the export of American-made food and agricultural products to our North American neighbors,” Vilsack said. “The positive impacts of this trade deal will be felt throughout the economy, as increased exports help drive jobs tied to food and agriculture production across the heartland. Moreover, the passage of USMCA will send a clear message that the U.S. values robust, rules-based trade with our allies and will give the U.S. the momentum necessary to execute a productive trade agenda that delivers positive benefits for America.”
Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, also underscored the importance of USMCA.
“America’s farmers are counting on Congress and the administration to work together to secure passage of USMCA, and soon,” he said.
Mulhern previously participated in a Motorcade for Trade event held at a dairy farm in Wisconsin, the organizations said.
Under USMCA, U.S. dairy exports will ultimately increase by more than $314 million a year, according to the International Trade Commission. And the U.S. dairy industry estimates that over the first six years of implementation, USMCA will bolster dairy farm revenue by an additional $548 million.