Groups Praise Senate Finance Committee Leaders for Demanding that Canada Accept More Dairy Imports -- July 24

Release date: July 24,2015
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The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) today praised the Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan leadership for urging Canada to allow more trade in agricultural products, including dairy, as an outcome of the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If Canada is not willing to allow more dairy trade as a result of the TPP, it risks being left out of the agreement, according to the Senate members.


In a letter to Gary Doer, Canada’s ambassador to the United States, Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and senior Democrat Ron Wyden (D-OR) said Canada’s ability to “commit to significant and commercially meaningful market access for all remaining agricultural products, including dairy, will have a significant impact on Congress’ view of the final agreement. In fact, our support for a final TPP agreement that includes Canada is contingent on Canada’s ability to meet the TPP’s high standards.”


The letter from Hatch and Wyden echoed a similar appeal last week by 21 members of the House of Representatives led by Representatives Reid Ribble (R-WI) and Ron Kind (D-WI), as well as Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX). That letter also went to Canada’s ambassador to the U.S.


The letter comes at a pivotal time, as negotiators from across the Pacific are currently meeting in Hawaii to finalize key issues in the TPP talks, including agricultural trade.


NMPF and USDEC said the Senate letter reinforces the message that a vital element to achieving a balanced outcome in the TPP negotiations is increased access to that country’s dairy market. The two groups want significant increases in access to the Canadian and Japanese dairy markets, as well as ultimately a balance between these sizable new export gains and any new access to our market granted for New Zealand dairy farmers.


“Senators Hatch and Wyden are to be commended for adding their strong voices to the demand that Canada get serious about meeting this agreement’s market access obligations,” said NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “Canada’s highly protected dairy market is one of the final issues in the TPP, and so far its negotiators have refused to live up to their commitment to satisfactorily address it.”


“We fully agree with this clear Congressional message that if Canada is looking for a pass on the type of tough decisions that all other TPP countries are being asked to make, it is better to move TPP ahead without them,” added USDEC President Tom Suber. “Our dairy industry is willing to do its part, but Canada needs to do the same if it wants to be part of this agreement.” 


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The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.


The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record.