Dairy Industry Welcomes Action by USTR Lighthizer to Launch NAFTA Modernization Efforts

e8926e4a-cef7-41e9-889b-31de23e095cbarticleimage.jpg

19 May 2017 --- The US dairy industry commended Robert Lighthizer, the newly confirmed US Trade Representative, for taking swift action under the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability Act (TPA) to begin the process for modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

In a notification letter sent today to Congress, Ambassador Lighthizer outlined some of the areas of the agreement that are either outdated or missing – several of which are important to the US dairy industry – and reaffirmed commitment to pursuing the trade priorities outlined by TPA, including goals related to market access and curbing the abuse of geographical indications. He also emphasized the importance of effectively implementing and aggressively enforcing the commitments made by Canada and Mexico, two of the dairy industry’s top trade partners. 

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) have repeatedly urged administration officials and legislators to focus on maintaining what has worked well, such as trade with Mexico, the top market for US dairy exports. The dairy groups have also continued to call for improving market access to Canada and tackling that country’s expanding list of protectionist policies and other barriers to US dairy exports.

“As an industry, we fully support the administration’s call to modernize NAFTA. Without this trade agreement and the market access it provides, the United States would stand to lose nearly $2 billion annually in dairy exports and tens of thousands of farming and manufacturing jobs in communities across the country,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “The issues of geographical indications, intellectual property rights and ways to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) are also of keen interest to the dairy industry. We look forward to working with Ambassador Lighthizer and other Trump Administration officials during the renegotiation process to provide helpful data and input.”  

“We agree with Ambassador Lighthizer that the current NAFTA agreement has areas upon which we can build as the renegotiation process begins, including the market we have developed in Mexico,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Obviously, dairy trade with Canada – where we continue to face 200%-300% tariffs and a slew of nontariff policies that distort dairy trade – is an entirely different story, and we need to address it as part of these talks. Central to any successful NAFTA negotiations will be changes to Canada’s new policies designed to harm bilateral trade and dump their structural dairy surplus on the world market.”

“With this first step, I now encourage the administration to swiftly commence modernization negotiations with our NAFTA partners and prioritize their quick conclusion,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. 

“Mexico is our only $1 billion dairy market; finding a replacement for sales that are so critical to supporting tens of thousands of jobs across this country is no small task, so preserving it is essential. At the same time, numerous opportunities exist to shore up open trade and further deepen it with our NAFTA partners, such as addressing Canada’s tariff and nontariff constraints on dairy trade, instituting stronger SPS commitments and ensuring that geographical indications are not used to restrict the use of common names.”

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

More scrutiny needed for less-deadly foodborne bacteria, say researchers

15 Feb 2019 --- Employing advanced genetic-tracing techniques and sharing the data produced in real time could limit the spread of bacteria – Bacillus cereus – which causes foodborne illness, according to researchers. As part of a recent study, researchers at Penn State University implemented whole-genome sequencing of a pathogen-outbreak investigation, following an outbreak of foodborne illnesses in New York in 2016.

Food Ingredients News

BI Nutraceuticals strengthens Canada presence with Brenntag partnership

15 Feb 2019 --- US-based ingredients supplier BI Nutraceuticals (BI) is partnering with food and nutrition experts Brenntag Canada Inc. to strengthen its reach in Canada. The partnership will allow Brenntag to widen its portfolio to include ingredients that are healthier, natural and on-trend, according to both companies.

Food Ingredients News

Weekly Roundup: Campden BRI launches “Brexit Hub,” Barry Callebaut places its first promissory note loan

15 Feb 2019 --- In the run-up to Brexit, Campden BRI has launched an information service to help the food industry deal with issues relating to the UK’s exit from the EU. In business news, Barry Callebaut placed its first “Schuldscheindarlehen,” a promissory note loan. SGS achieved accreditation by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to certify foreign food suppliers under the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Accredited Third-Party Certification Program of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). GoodMills Innovation launched two grain-based functional ingredients made from Tartary Buckwheat, which they will present at BIOFACH, Germany, this week.

Food Ingredients News

Kerry eyes foodservice growth: Social media sharing is challenging operators, says new VP

15 Feb 2019 --- Kerry is eyeing further growth opportunity in the foodservice space, with plant-based trends and social media sharing creating new potential for operators within this dynamic environment. “With our deep knowledge in food & beverages and innovation, foodservice is leading in essence and ahead of the curve in adopting trends. It is therefore a very important market for us to focus on,” Karl Buiks, VP of Foodservice, Marketing & Strategic Planning, Kerry Europe & Russia, tells FoodIngredientsFirst.

Food Ingredients News

Nestlé highlights sharpened plant-based focus as Starbucks range debuts

14 Feb 2019 --- Swiss giant Nestlé is exploring strategic options for the Herta charcuterie business including a potential sale, as the company reports its full-year results. As a further step in positioning its portfolio towards attractive high-growth categories, the company is looking to potentially divest its cold cuts and meat-based products, in favor of plant-based products to keep pace with current consumer trends. The company continues to pivot its businesses to changing market conditions by unveiling its first coffee lines under the Starbucks name which comes after Nestlé closed a US$7.15 billion licensing deal to market Starbucks Consumer Packaged Goods and Foodservice products globally.

More Articles