By Thomas Phippen, DCNF
President Donald Trump’s deportation policies could drive the price of milk up to $8 dollars a gallon, according to a Milk industry expert.
Around 80 percent of milk produced in America comes from dairies that use foreign labor, and if those workers leave, the U.S. will see significant milk shortages, Jaime Castaneda, senior vice president at the National Milk Producers Federation, told a panel Wednesday, according to the Hagstrom Report.
Casteneda said “if there were an attempt to remove workers you would have a significant shortage of milk and high prices,” as high as $8 dollars a gallon.
The dairy industry has “very high expectations” that Congress can address foreign labor issues, but not any time soon. “We see what happened with the health insurance fiasco,” Castaneda said, referring to Congress’s failure to pass the American Health Care Act to replace Obamacare. “The probability of having something else pass is diminished.”
The Department of Homeland Security has plans to create a large “deportation force” to prepare for an increase in detention and deportation of illegal immigrants.
If the price of milk rises, milk from Mexico where labor is cheaper and workers have fewer rights might push the U.S. out of business.
Dairy farmers “are convinced most Americans do not want to do the kinds of jobs that they have available on their farms,” Thomas Maloney, agriculture labor expert at Cornell University told NPR in February.
Milk producers struggled last year when milk prices dropped considerably, but production increased.
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