NMPF Establishes Priorities for NAFTA Modernization Process

Since the beginning of 2017, NMPF has been helping to shape the focus of discussions over the modernization of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In May, the Trump Administration formally launched that process by notifying Congress that it plans to proceed with a renegotiation of the 24-year-old trade pact. NMPF will actively participate in that process through the submission of recommendations on U.S. dairy farmer priority areas, meetings with administration officials and participation in a high-profile NAFTA hearing at the end of June.

As this multi-year effort begins, NMPF’s key message remains clear: Preserve opportunities created through NAFTA (particularly in Mexico); improve on the existing agreement through new rules that ensure a continued growth in commerce; and address remaining tariff and nontariff concerns related to Canada, including the elimination of the Canadian Class 6 and 7 pricing schemes hurting American dairy exports.

To amplify these messages, NMPF has engaged with Congress and the Trump Administration, while sharing its priorities at public discussions about the future of trade across North America. NMPF’s Shawna Morris (right) spoke last month at a National Press Club event held by the Global Business Dialogue that focused on key areas of the NAFTA relationship. The event’s focus aligned with NMPF’s NAFTA goals: “Maintain Mexico; Crack Canada.”

Also in May, the leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Chairman Pat Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow wrote to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), reinforcing NMPF’s concerns about the impact of Canada’s new Class 6 and 7 pricing systems. The letter asked Trump Administration officials to “evaluate all tools available to help mitigate any damaging effects that directly result from this program and allow U.S. dairy producers to compete with Canada on a level playing field.”