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NMPF Works with Congress to Urge Swift Phase Two Agreement with Japan

August 4, 2020

A bipartisan coalition of 51 members of Congress representing dairy districts from across the country sent a letter July 8 to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue asking them to build upon successes secured in a Phase One agreement with Japan with a Phase Two comprehensive agreement. NMPF worked with Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI), Lloyd Smucker (R-PA), Josh Harder (D-CA), and Roger Marshall (R-KS) to ensure the letter fully explained the remaining trade barriers leaving American dairy farmers at a disadvantage in this key market.

The letter acknowledged the important progress made by the U.S.-Japan Phase One agreement for dairy while urging the U.S. government to move quickly to address any remaining gaps and inequalities in market access, writing that a Phase Two agreement is a “valuable opportunity that cannot be left to linger on the negotiating table.”

“America’s dairy industry is ready to meet Japan’s growing demand for wholesome dairy products. However, in order to fully secure necessary market access, the U.S. must act swiftly to break down the remaining trade barriers that have left our producers at a disadvantage in this important dairy market,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.

NMPF continues to share this message with trade negotiators and will keep working to secure additional tariff concessions, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures and enforceable commitments to protect common cheese names in Japan. The U.S. Phase One agreement with Japan provides vital access improvements to help the U.S. remain competitive in this key market – but more work remains to finalize an optimal final and comprehensive agreement with Japan.