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The Time is Now: Ratify the USMCA to Advance Key Relationships

April 10, 2019

The conclusion of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement negotiations late last year was welcome news for dairy — but with ratification still pending in all three nations, it was only a step in a journey not yet complete.

The USMCA would improve U.S. dairy’s trade outlook on several levels, including restored certainty with Mexico that includes continued duty-free shipping to our largest export market. The agreement also advances dairy’s trade relationship with Canada, incorporating much-needed reforms to its controversial dairy pricing system and expanding access for US dairy exports to Canada.

However, the USMCA must still be ratified by the legislative bodies of all three nations before taking effect. NMPF staff has (have?) emphasized in meetings with congressional offices the need to quickly approve the treaty to retain and expand export opportunities that will benefit America’s dairy farmers.

NMPF has also urged a swift end to U.S. Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum and its corresponding Mexican retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheese exports – which some key leaders in Congress are saying must be dealt with to ensure successful passage of USMCA.

NMPF has developed a one-page handout on the USMCA that conveys the importance of this trade agreement to the dairy industry in simple-to-understand terms. NMPF is encouraging dairy cooperatives and farmers to reach out to policymakers and amplify the message that Congress should support passage of USMCA and urge the Administration to swiftly resolve the lingering metal tariffs dispute with Mexico.

The importance of maintaining dairy’s trusted trade partnership with Mexico and seizing the trade advancements made in USMCA demands that Congress pass this important agreement.