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Dairy Groups Welcome Progress on U.S.-Colombia FTA

April 7, 2011

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) applauded the announcement this week that the Obama Administration and Colombia have reached an agreement on an action plan that will help to move forward the long-stalled Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia.

“NMPF strongly supports all three pending FTAs – including the one with Colombia – and it is exciting to see the White House take a step closer to advancing each of them,” said Jerry Kozak, President and CEO of NMPF. “Dairy producers are looking to expand our export opportunities wherever possible and hope that this signals that we will soon see the Colombia FTA, as well as the vitally important Korea and Panama FTAs, submitted for Congressional approval.”

“Our industry has been eager to see this FTA move forward with an important Latin American ally and growing market for dairy products,” said Tom Suber, president of USDEC. “U.S. dairy exports to Colombia are currently greatly limited by tariffs that exceed 90% for many products of significance to us. We are eager to work with the Administration to help move this FTA to implementation in order to knock down these tariffs blocking greater U.S. dairy sales.”

NMPF estimates that the U.S.-Colombia FTA would deliver, on average, an additional $25 million a year in benefits to U.S. dairy producers during the phase-in period of the agreement. Both organizations urged the Administration to move swiftly to seek Congressional approval of the U.S.-Colombia FTA, as well as the FTAs with South Korea and Panama, given the strong benefits for the U.S. dairy industry in each agreement.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the export trade interest of U.S. milk producers, proprietary processors, dairy cooperatives, and export traders. Its mission is to enhance international demand for U.S. dairy products and assist the industry to increase the volume and value of exports. USDEC accomplishes this through market development programs that build overseas demand for U.S. dairy products, resolving market access barriers and advancing the industry’s trade policy goals. USDEC activities are supported by staff in Mexico, Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, South America, Middle East and Europe. Website:

The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance the well being of dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. The members of NMPF’s 31 cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S. milk supply, making NMPF the voice of more than 40,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies