The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News

  • California Dairies CEO Tells Congress That U.S. Has 'Fallen Behind' on Trade Agreements

    By Andrei Mikhalevsky April 30, 2019

    The U.S. has not passed a new trade deal for over a decade while the EU has trade agreements completed or in process with nine of the top 10 dairy importing countries.

    Editor's note: Andrei Mikhalevsky, president and CEO of California Dairies, Inc., testified in Washington on Tuesday before the U.S. House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. An excerpt from his written remarks follows. 

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    In 2018, the United States exported $5.58 billion of dairy products, from cheese to whey to ice cream to skim milk powder and everything in between. Free trade agreements that open markets and lower trade barriers are crucial to continuing this trend of growing U.S. dairy exports. 

    Dairy farmers are acutely aware of trade policy developments because today, their livelihoods increasingly depend upon global markets opportunities. It is particularly damaging from a dairy perspective that the U.S. has fallen behind in negotiating trade agreements, especially compared to trade agreements negotiated by the EU and New Zealand, our primary competitors.

    DOWNLOAD full testimony

    Some examples of such agreements are the EU-Japan Economic Partnership, the EU-Vietnam Trade Agreement, and the New Zealand-China free-trade agreement, which puts us at an increasing disadvantage with the world’s largest market. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) going ahead without U.S. involvement has affected our competitive position in a key region. 

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    The vision of CDI and the U.S. dairy industry is global.

    The U.S. has not completed and passed a new trade deal in well over a decade. The EU has trade agreements completed or in process with nine of the top ten dairy importing countries while the U.S. has four.

    Likewise, New Zealand has trade agreements with most Asian countries where demand is growing at a rapid pace. 

    Dairy industry priorities in U.S. trade agreements are fairly straightforward. First and most importantly, a fair and level playing field is critical. 

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    CDI ships dairy products and ingredients to nearly 50 countries. 

    Andrei Mikhalevsky is president and CEO of California Dairies, Inc, the largest exporter of U.S. milk powder. Click the button above to download Mikhalevsky's complete written testimony on Tuesday before the House Committee on Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture.

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    The U.S. Dairy Export Council fosters collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to enhance global demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients. USDEC is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff. How to republish this post.  

    Free trade agreements
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