The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) praised a letter to President Obama yesterday from 140 members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressing concerns about the status of agricultural market access negotiations with Japan and Canada in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The bipartisan letter was led by Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade, and Ranking Member Charles Rangel (D-NY).
“This Congressional letter reinforces the message that a unified dairy industry expressed last month in a letter to Ambassador Froman and Secretary Vilsack and that is the importance of a high-quality dairy outcome with Japan and Canada,” said USDEC President Tom Suber. “We share the concerns of Congress over the efforts of Japan and Canada to evade meaningful market access in the TPP.”
“We believe that TPP needs to be a high standard agreement that maximizes export opportunities for U.S. dairy products,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “To that end, we concur with the Congressional message that the key to a good agricultural outcome with Japan and Canada is an agreement that is meaningful and comprehensive. The letter’s core message, urging the U.S. Trade Representative to obtain the best deal possible, is very much in line with the type of ambitious and balanced outcome our members believe is necessary.”
Both organizations also remain focused on addressing another U.S. dairy industry priority regarding the lingering impacts of New Zealand government dairy policies that have intentionally advantaged a single national champion at the expense of other competitors.
Many U.S. agricultural organizations united in support of the Congressional letter. While the goals of various agricultural organizations in the TPP may differ, the unifying aim is a desire to see significant movement by Japan and Canada to greatly expand market access opportunities for U.S. agricultural exports. NMPF and USDEC remain hopeful that the TPP negotiations will result in a final package that can garner the endorsement of the U.S. dairy industry.