The new tariff mitigation program announced Tuesday by the Trump Administration should provide badly needed economic assistance to dairy farmers facing significant financial losses, the National Milk Producers Federation said today.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today that it is preparing a $12 billion economic assistance program designed to help dairy farmers and other agricultural producers suffering from the effects of retaliatory tariffs imposed by Mexico, China and other key trading partners. NMPF’s economic estimates indicate that these tariffs will cost U.S. dairy farmers $1.8 billion just through the remainder of this year, based on the decline in milk futures prices since the retaliatory tariffs were implemented.
“We appreciate the president following through on his pledge that America’s farmers won’t bear the brunt of the economic losses generated by the current trade conflicts,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Today’s announcement reflects requests that our organization has made of USDA to relieve some of the financial pain dairy farmers are feeling due to lost export opportunities.”
NMPF has been engaged in ongoing discussions with USDA about how to reduce the economic harm caused by the trade disagreements between the United States and other nations. The plan announced today will use USDA’s authority to help farmers through a combination of direct payments to farmers, milk product purchases for distribution to feeding programs, and additional export development assistance. Further details about the exact nature of the relief measures will be unveiled later in the summer, USDA officials said.
“We thank the administration for incorporating our recommendations. We will continue working with USDA on program details to achieve provisions that are efficient, cost-effective and equitable to farmers of all sizes in all regions,” Mulhern said.
NMPF is also encouraging the administration to conclude the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations and pursue new trade opportunities, “which is the long-term solution to the current situation. We need this assistance for now, but we also need new trade deals that allow our farmers to reach customers in other nations,” Mulhern said.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF’s activities, visit our website at www.nmpf.org.