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Dairy Groups Urge Passage of Three FTAs to Grow Jobs in U.S.

February 4, 2011

NMPF and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) submitted comments to the House Committee on Ways and Means as part of a hearing held last month on the pending Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. The focus of the hearing was to examine the job creating potential of the three trade agreements.

NMPF and USDEC voiced support for all three FTAs and urged swift congressional passage of each. However, remarks from NMPF and USDEC centered heavily on the tremendous export potential posed by the Korea-U.S. FTA.

“The anticipated growth in our exports of cheese, whey, skim milk powder, and other dairy products will help bolster milk prices for America’s dairy farms, and help to support additional jobs in the dairy processing and transportation sectors,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. “In fact, we estimate that such an increase in U.S. dairy exports would mean as many as 10,000 additional U.S. jobs, on and off the farm.

The dairy organizations also expressed hope that the FTAs with Colombia and Panama would also be approved, citing the anticipated $50 million annual average increase in net benefits to the U.S. dairy industry upon passage of both trade agreements. NMPF and USDEC stressed that the estimates pertaining to the FTAs assume the United States is able to make full use of the new market access opportunities negotiated for in each of these agreements.