Dairy D.C. Fly-In Builds Support for Trade with Canada, Mexico

Jamie Johansen

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) organized U.S. dairy leaders from across the country in Washington, D.C., this week to urge Congress and Trump Administration officials to hold Canada accountable for its trade violations and hasten the repeal of Canada’s controversial new dairy pricing system.

More than 40 farmers and dairy company executives gathered for the fly-in to emphasize that trade opportunities both north and south of the U.S. are crucial to America’s dairy sector. In addition to speaking to elected officials, the members of the dairy coalition also met with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, Acting U.S. Trade Representative Stephen Vaughn and White House agriculture advisor Ray Starling.

“Canada’s new Class 7 milk pricing scheme unfairly undercuts U.S. dairy exports to Canada and around the world. This is an economic dagger pointed at every farmer in the United States, not just those from a few states,” said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF. “We also were clear that the income of thousands of dairy farmers depends on the valuable partnership that we have with Mexico, our largest export market.”

NMPF and USDEC member cooperative and company leaders explained to lawmakers how they have lost sales to Canada and expressed fears of the consequences of Canada dumping its milk excess onto global markets at prices far below their domestic price – in violation of Canada’s trade agreement concessions.

Dairy leaders emphasized that U.S. dairy exports create jobs across the nation, and distributed fact sheets quantifying the economic impact nationally and state-by-state.