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  • Video: Congress hears how trade policy affects a working dairy farmer

    By USDEC March 10, 2020

    House subcommittee testimony highlights eight priorities to increase U.S. dairy exports and improve rural America.

    Editor's note: Connecticut dairy farmer James "Cricket" Jacquier testified today before the House Committee on Agriculture's Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. Jacquier is chairman of the board for Agri-Mark, a dairy cooperative of 850 farm families across New England and New York. Agri-Mark is a member of the U.S. Dairy Export Council and National Milk Producers Federation.

    To watch video above, click arrow on left

    EXCERPT (video provides entire testimony)

    My name is James Jacquier. My wife, Jennifer, my son Colby and I operate LaurelBrook Farm, a fourth generation, 1,500-cow dairy in East Canaan, Connecticut, alongside my brother, my father and my two nephews.

    I serve as chairman of the board for Agri-Mark, a dairy cooperative comprised of 870 farm families across New England and New York.

    Maintaining our trade relationships and expanding market access for U.S. dairy products is vital to the strength of the domestic dairy industry and the economic health of rural America.

    Congress and the U.S. government must work together to expand equitable trade relationships with key dairy trade partners, creating greater market access for the high-quality milk and dairy ingredients produced by the U.S. dairy industry.

    To achieve these goals, the U.S. government must focus on the following priorities:

    • Pursue free trade agreements that allow our industry to grow exports and reject agreements that do not benefit the U.S. dairy industry or U.S. agriculture.
    • Give careful and proactive attention to the implementation and enforcement of negotiated trade agreements, particularly the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
    • Pursue a focused and global strategy designed to uproot the European Union’s misuse of geographical indications (GIs) that create de facto barriers to trade.
    • Ensure that overly onerous and unfounded technical barriers to trade and/or unjustified sanitary and phytosanitary requirements do not impede access for U.S. dairy exports to foreign markets.
    • Removal of all retaliatory tariffs on dairy in China so that the U.S. dairy industry can reap the full benefit of the Phase One agreement.
    • Further expand dairy market access into Japan through the completion of a comprehensive agreement that builds upon the strides made in Phase One.
    • Reject any agreement with the EU that does not fully eliminate all agricultural non-tariff barriers.
    • Secure an agreement with the UK that fully addresses technical and tariff impediments to streamlined and consistent access to the UK market, including GIs.

    "Our future is dependent on creating market demand for the milk we produce through continued growth in sales to foreign markets," Jacquier said. 

    For more on this testimony, see the news release, "Dairy Farmer Testifies Before House Subcommittee on Importance of Expanding Export Opportunities and Fair Rules." Also see written comments (10 pages) and oral testimony (three pages).

    Mark O'Keefe is vice president of editorial services at the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

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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.  

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