Just like Donald Trump has taken away the No. 1 export market for U.S. soybean farmers, he has now done the same U.S. dairy products. In a Tuesday twitter thread, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce senior vice president labeled Trump’s tariffs a “DAIRY DISASTER” after Mexico imposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S. dairy products in retaliation for Trump’s aluminum and steel tariffs.
“Mexico is the top export market for US dairy products,” John G. Murphy wrote. “The US is the largest dairy supplier to Mexico, and Mexico accounts for about one-quarter of US dairy exports.”
One dairy advocacy site shared similar fears the escalation in tariffs could “devastate” dairy export sales. Here’s several facts the site compiled about how important Mexico is to the dairy industry.
How significant are U.S. cheese exports to Mexico? Check out these facts from USDEC:
- Mexico is the No. 1 U.S. cheese export market.
- In 2017, the United States held a 75% share of Mexico’s cheese import market.
- U.S. cheese shipments to Mexico were valued at $391 million last year.
- Last year’s U.S. cheese exports to Mexico increased 8% in value over 2016.
- Mexico accounts for 28% of total U.S. cheese exports.
- U.S. suppliers shipped 96,413 tons of cheese to Mexico in 2017.
- Over the last decade, both the volume and value of U.S. cheese exports to Mexico have nearly tripled.
The tariffs are also coming at a terrible time for dairy farmers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Because milk consumption in the U.S. has been plummeting, dairies have been using the milk to produce more cheese and pushing a good portion of it to export markets.
July milk futures have dropped 12% since Mexico announced May 31 that it would strike back with tariffs. The price for a barrel, or 500 pounds, of white cheddar last week hit its lowest level since 2009. More cheese is in cold storage in the U.S. than any time since the U.S. Department of Agriculture began keeping track in 1917.
And just like China has found different markets from which to import soybeans (Brazil), Mexico has cemented a trade deal with the European Union. European dairy trade with Mexico will now be duty-free.
Soybean disaster. Dairy disaster. Everything Trump touches… disaster.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.