NMPF Dairy Trade Envoy, MMPA Chairman Highlights Need for Market Access

Doug Chapin, the dairy producer chairman of Michigan Milk Producers Association and a member of NMPF’s Dairy Trade Envoys program, highlighted on Oct. 14 the importance of exports for his family’s farm as well as the thousands of workers throughout the supply chain that the U.S. dairy industry supports at a virtual townhall organized by Farmers for Free Trade.

Chapin called for more aggressive pursuit of trade policies that can expand market access for U.S. dairy exports by removing tariff and non-tariff barriers that make it harder to compete around the world.

“Aside from the USMCA update to NAFTA, the last new U.S. free trade agreements went into effect nearly a decade ago with negotiations having taken place even earlier than that,” Chapin said. “We seem to either be evaluating or at times negotiating deals, but not implementing new comprehensive trade agreements that eliminate tariffs on our exports.”

NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern thanked Chapin for his leadership.

“We appreciate the opportunity this Farmers for Free Trade townhall has provided to highlight the need for expanded market access for American-made dairy products, and we thank Doug for being willing to share how Washington does impact dairy farmers throughout the country,” Mulhern said. “We believe greater access to other key dairy markets where the U.S. is facing the challenge of competing at a disadvantage, particularly in Asia, will mean continued opportunity and growth for America’s dairy farmers like Chapin Family Farms.”

Chapin is part the first wave of Dairy Trade Envoys, a program that NMPF and USDEC kicked off earlier this year. The envoys, a select group of U.S. dairy farmers and manufacturers, serve as knowledgeable, reliable spokespeople to help complement NMPF staff’s work to provide the dairy perspective on trade policy issues. NMPF created the program in collaboration with USDEC as part of ongoing efforts to better communicate the benefits and importance of U.S. dairy exports to policymakers and the media.