FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative appreciates U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin announcing her support today for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and encourages other Senators from the Upper Midwest to support passage when it comes to a vote.
“The benefits of the USMCA are substantial for dairy farmers, but our work is not complete until it receives the president’s signature,” says Jeff Lyon, general manager for FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “Certainly, there are other issues that have the attention of our Senate leaders, but passage of the USMCA should not be clouded by other political issues at hand. The bipartisan support of the USMCA that lead to its passage in the House on December 19 should be a precursor for the Senate to support the trade deal now and without delay.”
“U.S. dairy farmers have much to gain from this new trade agreement, and after five years of a challenging dairy economy, passage of this trade agreement would be positive news for dairy farmers,” says John Rettler, dairy farmer from Neosho, Wis. and president of FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative. “USMCA shows the rest of the world that the U.S. is capable of modernizing a trade agreement – and passing one. Getting this trade agreement across the finish line sends a positive message to the rest of the world that the U.S. is open for business.”
According to the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), dairy would gain an estimated $528 million in increased revenues over the agreement’s first six years, as well as protection for common cheese names and enforcement mechanisms to ensure the repeal of Canada’s problematic Class 6 and 7 milk pricing.
FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, established in 2013 and based in Madison, Wis., represents farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana by providing legislative and regulatory advocacy, dairy marketing services, disaster protection, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion. FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is a merger of three long-time prominent Wisconsin-based cooperatives. Learn more about FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative by visiting: www.FarmFirstDairyCooperative.com.