Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind called on Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to protect Wisconsin farmers’ access to the Mexican trade market, which could be in jeopardy if the President fulfills his threat –announced in a series of tweets this weekend – to close the southern border.
Mexico is the largest export market for Wisconsin’s dairy farmers, with over $69 million of dairy products exported in 2018. Disrupting global trade by closing the southern border will severely threaten the United States’ $1 billion dairy export market, at a time when dairy farmers face unprecedented hardships.
“Wisconsin dairy farmers can’t afford the market loss that will come at the cost of closing our southern border,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “I am calling on Secretary Perdue to take immediate precautionary steps to protect our farmers and keep our trade markets open. The success of our rural economy should never be dependent on the whims of the president and the consequences of his tweets.”
Individual farm incomes are down over 50 percent since 2006, and the price dairy farmers receive for their milk and dairy products has plummeted nearly 40 percent. In 2018 alone, Wisconsin lost 700 dairy farms.