Trump’s Trade Wars Boomerang on Cheesemakers

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As Trump imposes more tariffs on foreign products, foreign countries are returning the favor by excluding United States producers from trade deals and imposing tariffs. Meanwhile, American cheesemakers are running their industry with decreasing amounts of trade platforms for them.

The extreme trade policies of Trump have forced foreign markets to place barriers on United States products. The most affected from this change is the dairy farmers and cheesemakers from Wisconsin dairy farms. The producers of the state are increasingly concerned about the excess products which will not be sold at overseas markets this year.

When Trump began the trade clashes with the world, he did it on grounds of what he believed are unfair trade agreements and tariffs for American industries. The two that he claimed to be at greatest disadvantage are the automobile and dairy industries. The demand caused a disagreement over the dairy industry tariffs between President Trump and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

The trade war of President Trump was predicted by him during his campaign. During those months, he promised to rejuvenate the American industries and place “America First.” The promise was met with open arms by his voters. The consequences of his fulfilled promises are beginning to show their downsides to the towns and counties that elected him.

The president’s moves have turned the tables against domestic cheesemakers in an already highly competitive world economy. High tariffs are awaiting dairy product exports as a result of Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. American cheesemakers fear losing the Canadian and Mexican markets if the president moves on his threat of withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The global trade has been a positive experience for the dairy industry. American cheesemakers are now falling behind to other countries which are granting increased trade accesses amongst each other.

Nafta has been a valuable platform for the industry in Mexico although President Trump deemed it the worst trade dealer. Nafta is the largest exporter of American cheese. Dairy farmers watched sadly as Trump pulled out the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact and left them without valuable new markets.

The risk of these measures is that they give the advantage to European cheesemakers to seek protection on specific cheese types. If the European Union succeeds, different types of cheese names will only be used by the countries which originally produced them. Geographic indications will determine the cheese produced. For example, ‘feta’ cheese will only be produced in Greece. If that happens, the cheese industry will be changed forever for American producers.

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