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NMPF Comments on Russia, China World Trade Organization Compliance

October 6, 2016

In response to a call for comments from the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, NMPF filed joint comments with the U.S. Dairy Export Council last month regarding China’s and Russia’s degree of WTO compliance.

NMPF charged that Russia has violated its trade commitments by maintaining its ban on U.S., EU and Australian dairy products, which has had a negative effect on global markets. Russia has stated, however, that the U.S. government is not sufficiently prepared for a future point at which Russia might lift the ban. NMPF called on USTR, USDA and FDA to work together to initiate the lengthy process of preparation to ensure that the U.S. is not caught flat-footed should the market reopen in the future.

With respect to China, NMPF noted that that the U.S. government must work cooperatively with China in pursuit of reasonable and WTO-compliant regulations that facilitate trade of dairy products. Work on various issue of major significance to U.S. exporters continues, most notably continued dialogue regarding the memorandum of understanding relating to China’s plant registration requirements.

NMPF stressed how critical it is that the U.S. government prioritize resolution of this issue on the necessary timeline and with the required creativity needed to arrive at an agreement that works for both countries. In addition, NMPF pointed to the importance of ensuring that Chinese regulations on geographical indications (GIs) are carried out in a manner that will preserve robust competition among a variety of cheese products in China as that major market develops.