Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF, released the following statement:
“We thank President Donald Trump for speaking out in Wisconsin against the harmful pricing policy Canada implemented in an effort to stifle competition with the United States. We have repeatedly stressed that trade must be fair and that all countries should be held accountable when they break the rules. Canada’s repeated disregard for its dairy trade commitments to the United States has left American dairy farmers enduring the severe and unfair consequences.
“America’s dairy farmers will continue to work with the Trump Administration, Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional leaders, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as elected officials across the country to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”
Listen to the President’s comments in Kenosha —-> Trump on Dairy Trade
Meanwhile, as discussions over immigration policy continue on Capitol Hill, the National Milk Producers Federation is thanking members of both the House and Senate for working to address the unique labor challenges faced by dairy producers.
Mulhern said, “Dairy farming is a physically demanding, 24-7, 365-day job. Without the help of foreign labor, many American dairy operations face the threat of closure. We appreciate that members of both parties are building awareness of the need for action on this challenge.”
Two bills introduced recently would modify the existing H-2A agricultural visa program to make it easier for dairy farmers to hire the foreign labor they need to run their operations. Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) and Chris Collins (R-NY) co-authored the Farm Family Relief Act in January. Rep. Sean Duffy’s (R-WI) introduced the Defending the Agricultural Industry’s Requirements Year-round (DAIRY) Act this month.
Separately, during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing to confirm the next USDA Secretary, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) questioned nominee Sonny Perdue about finding a solution to the industry’s immigration concerns. Perdue said he supports an exemption to the H-2A program so that dairy farms can hire workers year-round.
NMPF has called on legislators to address this dilemma for more than a decade.
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