American dairy farmers export approximately 1 out of every 7 gallons of milk they produce. NMPF works to expand opportunities for farmers and cooperatives to reach foreign markets while balancing the flow of milk products into the United States. NMPF works in close collaboration with the U.S. Dairy Export Council on trade-related issues.
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), signed into law in January 2020, improved dairy trade with Canada and solidified trade relations with Mexico. Enforcing the agreement’s dairy provisions remain key to realizing and maintaining these gains.
While USMCA does not address the full range of Canada’s problematic tariff and non-tariff policies, it makes important advances such as reforms to Canada’s controversial dairy pricing system. However, Canada’s sustained and longstanding efforts to undermine access to its market and lower the benefits of the trade agreement to the U.S. dairy industry continue to pose deep concerns.
USMCA also strengthens U.S. dairy’s relationship with Mexico, the top export destination for U.S. dairy products. The agreement preserves duty-free access for U.S. dairy in Mexico and establishes new protections for products that rely on common cheese names, such as parmesan and swiss cheese. Recent anti-trade sentiment and technical barriers imposed by Mexico threaten to undermine this longstanding trade relationship.
NMPF supports aggressive action to ensure that Canada and Mexico fully comply with their USMCA commitments. Congress must work with the U.S. Trade Representative and USDA to enforce USMCA’s dairy-related provisions to prevent Canada or Mexico from undermining the benefits the deal offered for U.S. dairy producers.
Geographical indications (GIs) limit who can use certain product terms or names to those in a particular geographic area. GIs have been widely abused in recent years by European interests seeking to restrict competition from the United States and other non-European countries.
NMPF is a member of the Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), an independent, international nonprofit alliance that works with leaders in agriculture, trade and intellectual property rights to foster the adoption of high standards and model geographical indication guidelines throughout the world.