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U.S. Dairy Execs Tout Strong Partnership with Mexican Dairy Industry During Visit

April 7, 2017

NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern, along with his counterparts at the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), pledged a continued commitment to dairy trade with Mexico during discussions last month with Mexican government, dairy farmers and industry officials.

Mulhern, joined by Tom Vilsack of USDEC and Michael Dykes of IDFA, stressed the U.S. dairy sector’s robust commitment to Mexico’s dairy industry – the No. 1 market for American dairy exports.

“Mexico is our friend, ally and most important trading partner,” said Mulhern in meetings with high-ranking leaders of the Mexican dairy industry. “Our goal in visiting Mexico is to communicate our steadfast dedication to our partnership with the Mexican industry, even as we continue to explore ways to deepen that relationship by working on issues of mutual benefit.”

Mulhern and Vilsack spoke at the Femeleche conference in Mexico City, which brought together Mexican dairy industry leaders, farmers and government officials. To further convey the organizations’ commitment to collaboration with Mexico, the three CEOs also met with Mexican Minister of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal (pictured above), as well as the Mexican Minister of Agriculture Jose Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa and the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson.

“By working together on these issues, we can harness the strength of our voices,” Mulhern said during the forum. NMPF’s outreach follows the Memorandum of Understanding NMPF and USDEC signed last August with key Mexican industry organizations, creating the U.S.-Mexico Dairy Alliance. Both initiatives were aimed at cultivating the critically important U.S.-Mexico relationship, which has provided a boon to U.S. dairy exports and helped spur gains in Mexican dairy consumption, to both nations’ benefit.

The reassurance from U.S. dairy leaders is coming at a pivotal time in U.S.-Mexico trade relations. The Trump Administration recently released a draft of the NAFTA renegotiations letter it intends to submit to Congress. That letter references the goal of “maintaining and expanding current market access” to Mexico and Canada – echoing a key message Mulhern delivered while in Mexico last month.