Latest News

U.S. Dairy Industry Welcomes IPEF Launch and Taiwan Trade Proposal

July 6, 2022

NMPF trade staff spent much of June encouraging the Biden Administration’s new Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) to move forward while pushing it to go even further toward ensuring more-open markets for U.S. dairy producers.

IPEF encapsulates a regional trade agenda focused on advancing supply chain resilience, sustainability, economic growth, and competitiveness. Depending on its outcomes, IPEF’s effects on U.S. dairy exporters could range from tiny to quite notable. The collection of interested countries includes seven of the United States’ top ten dairy export markets, but the framework announced May 23 does not address tariff reductions

NMPF and USDEC have broadcasted these concerns to the administration during a Farmers for Free Trade virtual townhall, comments, and direct communications to trade negotiators. The organizations also have been leading drivers behind bipartisan Congressional engagement on the issue, supporting the work of scores of Members as they press the administration to prioritize agriculture in IPEF negotiations and outline examples of both tariff and nontariff opportunities.

An agreement that does not directly tackle tariffs might still deliver meaningful benefits for dairy, and NMPF and USDEC continue to advocate for inclusion of specific nontariff items that could help improve trade flows. These include protecting the use of common cheese names and cutting red tape by streamlining import requirements. Also, NMPF and USDEC note that tariff reductions could be possible under IPEF should the U.S. Trade Representative secure unilateral foreign tariff reductions that benefit all World Trade Organization (WTO) members, including the United States. Such a reduction would provide U.S. exporters with greater parity with competitors that have already secured comprehensive tariff agreements throughout the region.

The U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade announced June 1 faces similar hurdles. Taiwan was the 12th largest market for U.S. dairy exports last year, buying $140 million of U.S. dairy products, primarily higher-value exports such as fluid milk and cheese.

While NMPF welcomes all initiatives aimed at increasing trade, the Taiwan proposal does not contain plans to reduce tariffs. NMPF believes stronger economic ties must include additional trade opportunities for the dairy sector and will continue to press for these policies at every opportunity.