Dairy farm industry weighs in on new USMCA trade agreement

Photo: Pixabay / MGN

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - While some Wisconsin farmers are happy about the new trade deal President Trump negotiated with Canada and Mexico, others are skeptical.

Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative applauded the announcement of the new United States Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA) especially with the elimination of the Class 7 milk price, which allowed Canadian milk producers to undercut the price of U.S producers.

“It's a growing market, U.S dairy is some of the most competitive and best quality milk there is, we want to be able to export throughout the world and Canada is a really close ally and why wouldn't we want to import into that marketplace,” said Tim Trotter, Executive Director of Edge Dairy Farmer Cooperative.

Trotter said there's renewed excitement among dairy farmers. He said this could mean a healthier dairy economy throughout the Midwest.

“The biggest opportunity that dairy has is globally, so if you are a struggling farmer which all of our members are struggling because prices are sluggish to say the least, it's always a great opportunity when you have the opportunity to produce for a world market, you have opportunities for the future,” said Trotter.

However, the Wisconsin Farmers Union doesn't see the new deal amounting to much saying the industry needs to focus less on quantity and more on quality.

“There's nothing in this trade deal that's going to increase the livelihood of family farmers, more money going into the dairy sector doesn't necessarily get into the pockets of farmers that need it the most, so farmers need to be raised up as a higher value,” said Rick Adamski, a board member of the Wisconsin Farmers Union.

Adamski said the biggest problem with u-s milk production is overproduction depressing prices. He said it’s something he thinks the USMCA won't solve.