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NMPF Looks Forward to a Restart of Negotiations over the Pacific Trade Deal

September 8, 2015

Despite little indication when intensive negotiations on the Pacific Rim trade deal will resume, NMPF remains optimistic the talks can be concluded successfully in a way that addresses the priorities of the U.S. dairy industry.

Meeting in Hawaii in July, trade ministers for the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership nations made some progress but failed to reach agreement on several important issues, including access to dairy markets.

Key to the impasse on dairy was Canada’s refusal to significantly open its highly protected markets, the limited access offered by Japan, and New Zealand’s desire that the United States compensate it in dairy access to the U.S. market given the limited offers from Japan and Canada.

“Despite the stalemate on dairy, we are optimistic negotiators can bring the TPP talks to a successful conclusion soon, and we look forward to the resumption of intensive discussions,” said NMPF President and CEO Mulhern.

“At the same time,” Mulhern said, “we are continuing to make clear that we will not support a package that would make U.S. dairy farmers a net loser in this agreement. We are prepared to do our part, but others need to do theirs, too. The burden of this agreement cannot be carried by the United States.”

Mulhern urged dairy producers to keep telling their House and Senate members they support a balanced Pacific trade pact that benefits the U.S. dairy industry. U.S. producers now export the equivalent of one-seventh of their milk production, and both Canada and Japan are viewed as key future markets U.S. dairy products.