Tariff Threat Avoided
June 11, 2019
The importance of committing to solidifying dependable trading conditions with our biggest export market – Mexico – was driven home in early June as President Donald Trump threatened to impose escalating tariffs against all Mexican products in an unrelated dispute over immigration. Numerous groups, including NMPF, swiftly spoke out against the proposal, and late on June 7th the White House announced it would not proceed with the tariffs.
In a statement issued the day after the President threatened to impose tariffs, NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern warned that “New tariffs against Mexico are unlikely to secure the border, but judging from reaction on Capitol Hill, they may very well jeopardize the chances of passing the USMCA, a key White House priority and one that’s crucial for future agricultural prosperity. Re-escalating trade tensions only harms farmers further, just when they were seeing glimmers of hope.” Over the course of the intervening week when the prospect of tariffs loomed, NMPF took the threat of upheaval to this critical market seriously, arming Young Cooperators meeting with dozens of Congressional offices with talking points urging maintenance of open trade with Mexico and joining onto a joint statement with others in the agriculture and business communities.
NMPF estimates that producers have lost at least $2.3 billion in revenues through March due to higher tariffs by Mexico and China against U.S. dairy, which have lowered milk prices for all producers.