This weekend, heads of state from the United States, Mexico, and Canada met at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to sign the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), propelling the new NAFTA replacement forward. International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) President and CEO Michael Dykes issued a statement taking aim at what that passage signified, noting that “the agreement is a hollow victory unless the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are lifted.”
"Mexico's retaliatory tariffs of 25 percent on American cheeses continue to have a negative impact on dairy exports, and U.S. dairy's access to the Mexican market remains at serious risk,” said Dykes in that statement. “We're increasingly concerned that the benefits won't be realized as long as the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports remain in place.”
Once those tariffs are lifted, Dykes explained, the IDFA will support the USMCA, because it meets with many of the U.S. dairy industry’s top priorities. Those priorities include preserving duty-free market access to Mexico and obtaining increased access to the Canadian market for U.S. dairy providers.
“A signed USMCA is a positive step forward for the U.S. dairy industry across the board. Free trade agreements like the USMCA that open markets and lower trade barriers are crucial to continuing the trend of growing U.S. dairy exports. Maintaining and expanding access to international markets is essential for the future success of the U.S. dairy industry,” continued Dykes. “…It is very difficult to predict the timing of the final approval of the USMCA by the United States and implementation of the agreement by both Mexico and Canada. We will advocate for expeditious congressional approval so the agreed-to changes can be implemented as soon as possible.”
Read the Dykes’ statement in its entirety here.