The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog: Market Analysis, Research & News
  • USDEC Endorses Trade Promotion Authority Approval

    By USDEC Staff March 2, 2015

    Legislation crucial to securing well-negotiated Pacific Rim pact for U.S. Dairy exports.

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council today joined the National Milk Producers Federation in asking Congress to enact new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation, saying it is crucial to securing well-negotiated trade agreements, including a Pacific Rim pact that must open key markets to more U.S. dairy products. 

    A letter (download pdf here) said that renewing TPA, which expired in 2007, will increase congressional influence over trade negotiations and lead to agreements that are better for both the country and the dairy industry.

    “TPA plays a key role in supporting a strong trade policy agenda," said USDEC President Tom Suber.  "That is particularly important to the dairy industry, since it now exports the equivalent of one-seventh of its U.S. milk production.”

    Last year alone, Suber noted, the U.S. industry exported more than $7 billion in dairy products


    “By having a clear framework for participating in the process and identified priorities that a successful agreement must address, Congress increases its influence over these agreements as they are being written,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.

    The dairy groups urged Congress to approve TPA, but also to become engaged in the final stages of negotiations with 11 other countries over the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    “To achieve an agreement with net benefits to the U.S. dairy industry, access to the region’s most protected dairy markets – Japan and Canada – is imperative,” said Mulhern. “While some progress has been made in Japan, both of these countries need to open their markets to a full range of U.S. dairy products.”

    Suber said another key issue is improving safeguards for using generic food names, including many common cheese names, in export markets. The European Union, he noted, is attempting to erect trade barriers by limiting the use of names like feta, parmesan and asiago among many others, to particular geographic areas.

    USDEC and NMPF are hardly alone in pushing for TPA.

    The Hill reported that the nation's top trade official is strongly advocating for updated trade negotiating powers as the Asia-Pacific deal moves toward the finish line.

    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told the National Association of Counties that trade promotion authority provides the best avenue for Congress to shape the contents of agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is steadily moving toward completion.

    “Trade promotion legislation is the way Congress gives direction to the president about what to negotiate, how to consult with Congress before and during the negotiations and how Congress will decide at the end of the day — after an extensive public debate — whether to support or reject a trade agreement," Froman said Monday in his remarks.

    "It’s time to update trade promotion legislation to meet the needs of today’s global economy and lock into law the progress we have made on a number of issues, including labor and the environment," he said. 

    Sources: USDEC/NMPF news release, The Hill

    Image copyright: 123RF Stock Photo

    The U.S. Dairy Export Council is primarily supported by Dairy Management Inc. through the dairy farmer checkoff that builds on collaborative industry partnerships with processors, trading companies and others to build global demand for U.S. dairy products.  



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