FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative recognizes the forward progress the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) continues to make as the agreement officially enters into force today. However, FarmFirst also recognizes the need for steadfast attention to details so the agreement is fully implemented as written.
“Today is a cause for celebration, as the USMCA officially takes hold and enters into force,” says Jeff Lyon, FarmFirst General Manager. “Yet, U.S. dairy needs to remain vigilant to ensure that all aspects of this hard-fought trade agreement come to fruition. While we all – the U.S., Mexico and Canada – have much to gain from this new agreement, it must be enforced to the same extent it was written and agreed upon during the negotiation process. The past few months have caused a lot of extra stress on dairy farmers due to the pandemic, so it is incredibly important that no benefit for U.S. dairy be considered too small.”
The USMCA reflects significant changes from its predecessor agreement, addressing in particular the challenging Canadian Class 6 & 7 pricing programs. This new agreement also reaffirms the quality trade relationship U.S. has with Mexico while establishing important protections for common cheese names.
“USMCA is an example of true bipartisan support with U.S. Congressional leaders working together to bring this long-standing trade agreement up-to-date. If you think of this agreement as a roadmap, today simply marks the beginning of our journey, our path that we have chosen to follow together,” says John Rettler, dairy farmer from Neosho, Wis. and President of FarmFirst. “If either of us veers off the agreed upon path or makes a detour, it is up to the rest of us to get back on course. By working together and staying true to this determined path, we all have much to benefit today and down the road.”
FarmFirst looks forward to working with our industry partners to ensure the agreement is enacted in full force so U.S. dairy farmers will reap the full benefits of the trade ambassadors’ hard work.
FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative, established in 2013 and based in Madison, Wis., represents farmers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana by providing legislative and regulatory advocacy, dairy marketing services, disaster protection, laboratory testing opportunities and industry promotion. FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative is a merger of three long-time prominent Wisconsin-based cooperatives. Learn more about FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative by visiting: www.FarmFirstDairyCooperative.com.