More than 60 companies and organizations representing American dairy farmers and cheese makers commended President Donald Trump today for his efforts on equitable trade and for insisting that Canada halt its market-distorting dairy practices. At the same time, the companies urged the administration to reconsider its imposition of new tariffs on Mexico in light of that country’s constructive engagement in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations and the harm that Mexico’s retaliatory tariffs will have on U.S. dairy’s trade with its largest and most reliable market.
In retaliation for U.S. actions on steel and aluminum imports, Mexico recently added new tariffs – some of which will reach as high as 25 percent next month – on American-made cheeses, among other products. These tariffs will certainly diminish demand for high-quality dairy products that are produced across the United States. The production of cheese and other dairy products in the U.S. supports nearly 3 million American jobs. The additional Mexican duties also will allow the European Union, which recently signed a bilateral free trade agreement with Mexico, to take hard-earned market share from American dairy companies.