The National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council joined in support of the agreement reached last weekend on the future framework of World Trade Organization talks.

Among the decisions made were:

  • The total elimination of export subsidies, which will reduce the artificial price advantage of the European Union, a profligate user of export subsidies for its dairy products, and make U.S. products more competitive.
  • Scaling back high tariffs that protect key markets in the EU, Switzerland, Japan and Canada. The inclusion of this provision means it may be possible for the United States to secure greater access into major dairy markets, compared to access the United States must provide in return.  This would allow the U.S. to maintain reasonable tariff protections for dairy while increasing the competitiveness of U.S. exports by lowering barriers elsewhere.
  • Allowing some level of domestic farm support to continue, while calling for higher levels of support used in other countries to be harmonized with the generally lower levels found in the U.S. farm sector.

"Our negotiators did a great job of pushing hard to keep the talks going, while protecting U.S. dairy interests.  This is just a small step in the Doha Round, but a giant leap for the overall prospects to finish the negotiations and reinforces the credibility of the WTO as an arbiter for world trade," said Jerry Kozak, president and CEO of NMPF.

"A great deal of hard work still lies ahead to finalize an agreement that levels the playing field in dairy trade," said Thomas M. Suber, president of USDEC.  "Although the talks could stumble and fall as further details are negotiated, this agreement injects new life into the process, and helps put pressure on all the parties to seal the deal in the future."

SOURCE U.S. Dairy Export Council; National Milk Producers Federation