News & Resources

U.S. Dairy Urges Further Work to Address EU Ag Barriers as Trade Relations Improve

June 15, 2021

As the United States and the European Union (EU) announced a five-year detente in aircraft case tariffs today, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) welcomed the break-through while also urging that further steps be taken by the EU to ensure that food and agricultural trade is not upended in the months to come.

“The bilateral commitment announced at the U.S.-EU Leaders Summit to resolve the aircraft disputes can help to normalize trade in sectors that have been harmed by retaliatory tariffs, but more work remains to get U.S.-EU trade relations on the right path,” said Krysta Harden, USDEC President and CEO. “The U.S. needs a holistic approach to Europe’s continued attempts to disrupt international trade so that our exporters have a dependable and more reasonable playing field on which to compete.”

“U.S. exporters 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,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF President and CEO. “Too often dairy trade with the EU is a one-way street. The EU’s frequent approach to import requirements is to mandate prescriptive procedures that U.S. dairy exporters need to make time-consuming changes in order to conform just to retain access to that market for our safe products. The products we export today are entirely safe; new EU mandates that would seek to force the U.S. to change our regulatory system match theirs would do nothing to enhance that.”

NMPF and USDEC noted that the U.S. has the safest food supply in the world and was the first dairy industry globally to achieve international certification for its animal care program. EU efforts to impose their own process-focused regulations on their trading partners run counter to the EU’s international commitments and appear designed simply to layer added cost and complications upon imported products to discourage trade. From geographical indications to overly prescriptive health certificates, the EU’s approach to managing trade has been to hamper competition rather than to let it flourish. To continue to move transatlantic trade relations forward, the EU’s underlying approach to agricultural trade must change.

Members of Congress are also calling for the EU to take steps to help advance transatlantic trade relations by addressing looming new EU import requirements that threaten to upend trade in the coming months. Yesterday, Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Jim Costa (D-CA), and John Katko (R-NY) wrote to the EU’s Ambassador to the U.S. Stavros Lambrinidis, calling on the EU to delay implementation of new and excessive dairy certification requirements until U.S. and EU negotiators can reach a mutually agreed solution.