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U.S. Dairy Applauds Japan’s Passage of Trade Deal, Urges Phase Two

December 4, 2019

ARLINGTON, VA — The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) applaud Japan’s recent passage of Phase One of the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement and the benefits it will bring the U.S. dairy industry once implemented.

The U.S. dairy industry is now urging U.S. trade negotiators to swiftly complete a Phase Two agreement in order to maximize opportunities for U.S. agriculture — in particular, dairy farmers and processors. It is critical that negotiators consult with Congress during Phase Two negotiations to ensure that the unique needs of various constituencies, including farmers and food manufacturers, are taken into account.

“Trade negotiators made important strides in the Phase One agreement that will serve as a strong foundation for a broader Phase Two agreement, opening the door for U.S. Dairy to fully realize our potential in Japan,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC. “We know that American-made products can fill the growing Japanese demand for high-quality dairy, but a comprehensive Phase Two agreement is necessary to deliver the complete range of market access opening and assurances necessary to ensure that U.S. dairy products can best compete.”

A 2019 USDEC study found that if the U.S. has at least the same market access as its competitors, the U.S. could roughly double its share of the Japanese market over the next 10 years, underscoring the necessity of a Phase Two agreement. Given the importance of the U.S. market to Japanese exports, NMPF and USDEC have emphasized that the terms of trade offered by Japan to U.S. exports should not just meet but exceed those granted to its less valuable customers.

“We agree with the Administration that market access in Japan under TPP wasn’t sufficient. U.S. negotiators must achieve a better outcome for U.S. dairy farmers in a final agreement to remedy this. Addressing the missing pieces of market access from Phase One and establishing safeguards for the use of common cheese names should be a priority,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Trade negotiators must finish the job and deliver a full comprehensive agreement that prioritizes the needs of American dairy farmers.”

It is critical that negotiators and policymakers now turn their attention towards finalizing a comprehensive Phase Two agreement that prioritizes dairy access. This includes protecting common cheese names and addressing remaining gaps and inequalities in market access granted to our competitors by the Japan-EU and CPTPP agreements that leave U.S. dairy at a disadvantage.