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NMPF Presses U.S. Government to Pursue Market Access Opportunities

April 5, 2022

NMPF continues to identify and advocate for pathways that increase foreign market access for U.S. dairy while the Biden Administration remains slow to pursue comprehensive trade agreements.

The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a limited trade contract intended to strengthen trade relations, supply chain resiliency, and cybersecurity in the region, may offer the broadest non-FTA opportunity to advance that goal for now. The framework under development touts a “fair and resilient” trade module focused primarily on addressing nontariff issues.

NMPF, together with USDEC, is working to ensure the dairy industry has a hand in shaping its development as the effort gains momentum. The Senate Finance Committee held a March 15 hearing on the framework, where NMPF helped members with questions for  Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, who testified on behalf of the agricultural industry, to draw out how dairy market barriers could best be addressed in the IPEF.

Several of the recommendations Bomer offered echoed those NMPF shared with USTR in early February in a confidential submission outlining various dairy market access priorities including reductions by our trading partners of their World Trade Organization tariffs.

NMPF also worked with a coalition of agricultural organizations to generate support for a March 30 bipartisan Congressional letter to Ambassador Tai and Secretary Vilsack, urging the administration to make agriculture a priority in IPEF negotiations. Led by Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) and Jodey Arrington (R-TX), together with Jim Costa (D-CA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Randy Feenstra (R-IA), the letter called on the administration to use IPEF to address barriers to U.S. agricultural exports, create mutually agreed-upon regulatory reforms that would benefit U.S. dairy and others in American agriculture, “include efforts to reduce tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports” and more.