It might surprise many Americans that U.S. dairy exports to Mexico have created nearly 25,000 jobs in the United States.
Even more overlooked and underappreciated is the fact that across-the-border dairy relationships are building trust and loyalty that reap rewards for years to come.
It’s something to think about this week as the United States, Mexico and Canada begin round one of talks to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement. Because Mexico and Canada are our top two markets, these talks are vitally important to our industry.
Last year, we exported $1.2 billion to Mexico alone. At the halfway point of this year, dairy exports to Mexico are up 32 percent compared to last year. Plenty of upside remains.
USDEC has identified key areas for improvement of NAFTA, such as Canada’s approach to distorting dairy trade through exorbitant tariffs and nontariff policies. But our No. 1 message about NAFTA and Mexico is “do no harm” to this win-win relationship.
It’s a relationship with many layers: country-to-country, industry-to-industry, business-to-business and person-to-person.