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Pathways to Expand Trade Under Pursuit

March 3, 2022

While movement by the administration to resume comprehensive trade negotiations remains lacking, NMPF continues pursuing multiple pathways and outlining steps to government officials that can be taken to expand market access for U.S. dairy exports.

NMPF president and CEO Jim Mulhern participated in a Feb. 10 agricultural CEO discussion with U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai focused on the sector’s trade priorities and market barriers around the world, including the growing disadvantage U.S. agricultural exporters face in key markets as trade competitors negotiate free trade agreements and the United States doesn’t.

NMPF is continuing to press for the U.S. government to pursue comprehensive trade agreements, particularly with key dairy markets such as those in Southeast Asia and the United Kingdom, given that the administration is more focused currently on pursuing non-FTA trade initiatives. As a result, NMPF’s trade policy team is urging the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to use additional, alternative avenues to expand trade – addressing tariff and nontariff barriers – that can fill in gaps in trade opportunities until FTAs can be inked.

NMPF and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) submitted confidential recommendations to USTR earlier on Feb. 8, addressing areas of prime opportunity across a variety of high-priority markets. NMPF urged the administration to use trade tools such as Trade and Investment Framework Agreements and the fledgling Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to address the regulatory and policy challenges identified. NMPF is also encouraging a greater focus on lowering Most Favored Nation tariffs in key markets to put U.S. dairy exporters on a more level playing field.