NMPF, USDEC Outline Trade Barriers for USTR to Address
November 7, 2023
NMPF and USDEC urged the U.S. Trade Representative to take action to resolve pressing trade barriers including tariff discrepancies and disputes with Canada and other countries in Oct. 23 comments submitted for the agency’s annual National Trade Estimate Report.
The report is designed to catalogue key barriers impacting U.S. exports and prioritize USTR efforts to address them. NMPF emphasized the importance of exports to the health of the U.S. dairy industry and reiterated its concern that the administration has chosen to put less energy into pursuing free trade agreements that open new markets for U.S. dairy products.
NMPF listed the specific major trade barriers confronting the U.S. dairy industry on a country-by-country basis in key markets, including:
- Tariff discrepancies faced by U.S. dairy exporters vs. competitors that have trade agreements with key markets.
- Indonesia’s protracted process for registering U.S. dairy plants. NMPF urged USTR and USDA to establish a streamlined and more predictable facility registration process.
- Canada’s Tariff-Rate Quote allocation system, which represents an ongoing U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) violation. NMPF has worked closely with USTR on the second dispute settlement panel and remains focused on ensuring that Canada’s TRQ administration procedures are fully USMCA compliant.
- Egypt’s refusal to allow widely used halal certifying bodies to provide the required halal certification for all dairy imports. This opaque procedure is not WTO-compliant and should be replaced with Halal certification procedures that permit multiple certification bodies used by U.S. exporters, just as other markets already permit.