Members of Congress Seek Delay in European Union Action to Prevent Disruption of U.S. Dairy Exports

The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today thanked congressional leaders seeking to prevent trade disruptions of U.S. dairy exports to the European Union (EU). Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Jim Costa (D-CA) and John Katko (R-NY) wrote to EU Ambassador to the United States Stavros Lambrinidis, urging a delayed implementation of new EU certification requirements for imports of U.S. dairy and composite food products and greater recognition of the strength of the U.S. system in producing safe exports.

“On behalf of America’s dairy farmers, processors, and exporters, we thank Representatives Kind, Walorski, Costa and Katko for emphasizing to European leadership the need to prevent significant trade disruptions to U.S. dairy exports,” said Krysta Harden, USDEC President and CEO. “The U.S. government and American dairy industry have been making a reasonable request to delay implementation of the EU’s new certification requirements, which fail to recognize the safety of U.S. dairy products and the high level of animal health protections in our industry. If the EU wants to steer its trade relationship with the U.S. toward stronger ground, it should start by changing its plan to choke off access for dairy and other products later this summer.”

“We appreciate the bipartisanship support by key members of Congress writing to the EU Ambassador, calling for immediate action to delay implementation of new, unwarranted certification requirements for U.S. dairy and composite food products until U.S. and EU government officials negotiate a mutually agreeable solution,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. “U.S. dairy farmers and processors continually have to chase new mandates by the European Union to retain our current access, even when there are no safety concerns with American dairy products. This type of unwarranted red tape is exactly the type of nontariff trade barrier that drives a gaping dairy trade deficit between the U.S. and the EU.”

The European Commission published new certification requirements at the end of 2020 for a wide range of food products, including dairy, adding confusing and vague requirements that threaten to upend U.S. dairy exports to the EU.  Two sets of new requirements have posed concerns to the U.S. dairy industry: (1) revised import certificates for dairy products; and (2) new certification requirements for “composite products,” which are processed food products that contain ingredients of both animal and plant origin.