China unilaterally lowers cheese tariffs

04c21a36-d13a-45b3-9632-1e7df87d6231articleimage.jpg

29 Nov 2017 --- China is unilaterally lowering its cheese tariffs from 12 percent to 8 percent, effective from December 1, 2017. The move will immediately boost US export competitiveness in China and help US suppliers take a larger role in meeting the nation’s booming cheese demand.

“We are very pleased with China’s decision because it will help US cheese exporters and manufacturers chip away the tariff disadvantage with other competitors,” says Tom Vilsack, president and chief executive officer, US Dairy Export Council (USDEC). “We are even more pleased that the process that yielded the decision helped to further cultivate trust and build critical relationships between the US dairy industry and Chinese official institutions, the nation’s dairy industry and customers.”

The reduction is part of a broader package of tariff cuts on food and consumer goods China announced last week to bolster consumer choice. But cheese was included among those products only because of three years of bridge-building efforts led by USDEC.

USDEC’s China Dairy Tariff Initiative, which began in early 2014, focused on working with Chinese authorities to analyze the mutual benefits that would flow from China unilaterally lowering its tariffs on certain dairy products.

Over the last decade, China’s cheese imports soared more than seven-fold to nearly 100,000 metric tons. Already a top-10 cheese buyer, it is on pace to become the largest cheese importer in the world in the coming years.

At the same time, US suppliers have been losing market share, in part due to unfavorable tariff rates vs. competitors.

“We took a proactive response to address the competitive disadvantage our exports were facing,” says Jaime Castaneda, USDEC senior vice president, trade policy. “USDEC recognizes that the US remains at a disadvantage not only in China but in other countries when it comes to tariffs due to lack of US free trade agreements. We are committed to finding ways to recoup that competitive disadvantage.”

In addition to four HS Codes covering cheese, the Chinese tariff changes also reduced duties on two categories of products containing dairy ingredients. Hydrolyzed protein formula for people with special nutritional needs (HS 2106.90.90) was lowered from 20 percent to zero, and prepackaged infant foods (HS 1901.10.90) was lowered from 15 percent to 2 percent. Moving forward, USDEC plans to continue working with China to further reduce tariffs on cheese as well as other dairy products.

“These types of international relationships will be critical to future U.S. dairy export growth and to achieving The Next 5 percent,” said Vilsack.

The Next 5 percent is USDEC’s name for the industrywide effort to expand U.S. dairy exports from the equivalent of about 15 percent of annual US milk solids to 20 percent.

Related Articles

Regulatory News

EU Parliament rejects calls for phosphate ban

14 Dec 2017 --- A proposal to ban the additive phosphate, a key component in kebabs and gyros, has been narrowly defeated in European Parliament following a vote yesterday (December 13).The legislature fell three votes short of reaching an absolute majority of at least 376 votes for a phosphate ban, which would have seriously impacted the kebab industry, forcing it to find alternatives rather than stop producing the highly popular fast food.

Food Research

Vegans call for more grab-and-go food options, according to survey

14 Dec 2017 --- Vegans want to see more grab-and-go options in retailers and foodservice outlets, according to a new survey by The Vegan Society. The results showed that vegans (91 percent) often struggle to conveniently pick up these types of food options which has led to the launch of the Society’s new campaign, Vegan on the Go. 

Business News

Aviko plans to join online grocery marketplace, INS ecosystem

13 Dec 2017 --- Subsidiary of Royal Cosun, potato processor Aviko has signaled its intention to join the direct-to-consumer movement by signing up to the INS platform, the online marketplace where producers can offer their products directly to consumers.

Food Ingredients News

Innovation success for alternative proteins at FiE

13 Dec 2017 --- Alternative proteins had a strong presence at FiE in Frankfurt last month. Exhibitors showed a sustained focus on alternative protein concepts, with a number of innovations and concepts creating a real buzz at this year’s show. FoodIngredientsFirst looks at a few of the offerings being exhibited at this year’s event.

Food Research

New report reveals salmonella cases no longer falling in the EU

12 Dec 2017 --- The declining trend of salmonellosis cases in the EU has leveled off according to the annual report on zoonotic diseases published this week. Cases of Salmonella Enteritidis acquired in the EU have increased in humans by 3 percent since 2014 says the report, which is compiled by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In laying hens, the prevalence increased from 0.7 percent to 1.21 percent over the same period. 

More Articles