Dairy Report: Biden’s Trade Team a Plus for USMCA, Milk Demand on the Rise
January 26, 2021
President Biden's trade team is coming together, and it includes key people who helped craft the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, an agreement some in Washington say is the gold standard when it comes to creating future trade deals.
In December, Biden tapped Katherine Tai as the next U.S. Trade Representative. Tai was the chief trade lawyer who helped with labor provisions in the USMCA.
“You hear a lot of democrats praising USMCA as a gold standard for trade agreements, when you look at some of the labor and environmental standards. And I think a lot of that language that was used in that agreement will be looked at for future and additional agreements,” says Karla Thieman, a member of The Russell Group.
American Farm Bureau hopes Biden’s trade team will continue to enforce USMCA, which includes challenging Canada’s dairy-tariff quotas under the new agreement.
“I can’t see any opposition to what they did because they modernized and declared some of the rules up. Hopefully, we feel that they’ll continue to try to enforce all sectors with dairy being one of them,” says Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Both Thieman and Duvall say the President hasn't revealed his cards when it comes to how he plans to negotiate with China.
Milk Demand on the Rise
It looks like people are drinking more milk during the pandemic. The National Milk Producers Federation releasing some stats.
It says retail dairy buys, which jumped at the beginning of the pandemic, remained higher throughout last year.
Butter saw the largest increase, up more than 25% from the previous year with more people baking at home.
And milk consumption also grew with a more than 3.5% increase in total fluid milk. Lactose-free milk seeing the biggest volume growth, up 21%.