Today, organizations representing U.S. food and agriculture including the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) called on members of Congress to swiftly ratify the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
In a letter sent to Congress, more than 960 groups representing the U.S. food and agriculture value chain at the national, state and local levels called on Congress to support ratification of USMCA. The letter reiterates that USMCA will benefit the U.S. economy by boosting agricultural export markets and creating a more level playing field for American businesses with customers in Mexico and Canada.
“USMCA meets the U.S. dairy industry’s top priorities to ensure a more level playing field, including preserving duty-free market access to Mexico, eliminating the unfair Canadian Class 7 pricing program and increasing market access to the Canadian market,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA. “The U.S. dairy industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs in the United States and pumps $620 billion into the U.S. economy, is making a strong appeal to Congress to vote to ratify this important trade deal. USMCA will ensure that our dairy industry grows valuable market share and continues to be viewed by our North American customers as a reliable supplier.”
Over the last 25 years, U.S. food and agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico have more than quadrupled under the former North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, growing from $9 billion in 1993 to nearly $40 billion in 2018 and helping support more than 900,000 American jobs in food and agriculture and related sectors of the economy. USMCA builds on the success of the NAFTA agreement, makes improvements to further enhance U.S. food and agricultural exports to our neighbors, and would deliver an additional $2.2 billion in U.S. economic activity.
The International Trade Commission’s recent report on USMCA confirmed that the agreement will improve market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers and food producers, as well as positively impact both the U.S. agriculture sector and the broader national economy.
One in four American manufacturing jobs are related to agriculture, and USMCA, once implemented, will strengthen the U.S. farm and agriculture economy and further support and secure vital market access for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and agri-businesses.
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3 million jobs that generate $159 billion in wages and $620 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.