Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative, representing the voice of milk across the Midwest, cheered today’s announcement by President Trump that the United States has reached a free trade deal with Mexico.
While full text of the deal has not yet been announced, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has indicated that it would maintain zero tariffs on dairy and all other agricultural products and create standards for geographical indication. Mexico also agreed to not restrict market access for commonly named U.S. cheeses. Congress will ultimately have to approve the agreement.
Both Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto expressed support for Canada joining the agreement, but Trump said a separate deal may be necessary.
The following comments are from Brody Stapel, president of Edge who farms in Cedar Grove, Wis.:
“This is terrific news. No country imports more of our dairy products than Mexico. The prospect of losing that market has caused a lot of anxiety over the past several months. Let’s face it, these are tough times for dairy farmers — tough enough even without all the uncertainty created by trade wars. So, we should celebrate this for the major step forward that it is and give the administration credit for making it happen.
“We should also encourage the administration to capitalize on this momentum in our negotiations with Canada and other existing and potentially new trading partners. Our dairy farmers want access to new international markets, and we don’t want to lose the good ones we already have.
“We’ll continue to work hard to make sure officials at U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as well as our members of Congress know what is at stake for the dairy community.”
Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative provides dairy farmers in nine Midwestern states with a powerful voice — the voice of milk — in Congress, with customers and within their communities. Under the Federal Milk Marketing Orders, the co-op also provides milk testing verification services and market information. Edge, based in Green Bay, Wis., is one of the top cooperatives in the country based on the amount of milk produced by its members. For more information, visit voiceofmilk.com.