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Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Negotiations Gain Momentum

April 8, 2013

As international negotiations continue on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), NMPF continued its efforts last month to maximize opportunities for U.S. dairy farmers in the pending trade agreement. First, NMPF helped coordinate a letter signed by 36 Senators and sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis. The March 15th letter to Vilsack and Marantis urges their agencies to pay particular attention during the TPP discussions to efforts to expand trade with Canada, and mitigate the impact of dairy exports from New Zealand.

“Without open access to Canada and absent significant policy reform by New Zealand, the dairy industry in our states strongly believes that the TPP promise of growth in export demand for U.S. dairy all but vanishes, and that in its place, they could see significant losses here at home,” the letter stated. “To be truly effective, dairy discussions with Canada should include a focus not only on removing tariffs but also on ensuring that various forms of nontariff barriers are not employed to hinder U.S. dairy exports.”

In a related development, NMPF was one of more than 70 organizations that jointly sent a letter March 26th to President Obama in support of Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations.

“The addition of Japan to the negotiations will exponentially increase the importance of the TPP to U.S. farmers and ranchers, processors and exporters as well as other sectors of the U.S. economy. Furthermore, it will spur interest in the TPP among other countries in Asia and Latin America. Finally, it will send a strong signal to other nations that efforts to negotiate are more open and transparent,” the NMPF letter said. Japan is the fifth-largest dairy export market for the U.S.