Dairy Report: “Got Milk?” Returns, Trade Debate Causes Tension

Dairy Report 080420
Ship hauling containers for ports unknown ( Pixabay/MGN )

U.S. dairy groups are lobbying to have dairy be a core trade policy objective. A bipartisan group of 61 senators are calling on U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue over the issue. They want trade deals that allow U.S. dairy producers to sell their products using common names that originated in Europe.

They say competitors continue to use trade negotiations around the world to stop American-made products from using common food and drink names such as bologna, parmesan and feta, which have been in use for decades.

Groups, including the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council, want future trade deals to include stronger terms than were included in the U.S Mexico-Canada Agreement.

“In dairy alone, the EU exported last year 1.9 billion dollars’ worth of dairy products into the U.S. market,” says Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of The National Milk Producers Federation. “The U.S. access into the dairy market is 116 million dollars. That huge trade deficit is part of the problem here. What’s even more alarming is the EU’s campaign to block common names has harmed U.S. access to markets all around the world. And that’s why it’s highly important for the U.S. to have the tools necessary to push back effectively against these heavy-handed EU efforts to monopolize global trade in cheese and other products."


“Got Milk?” Makes a Comeback

 Remember the very successful "Got Milk?" campaign? It's coming back! 

The dairy industry is reviving the campaign that ran out six years ago hoping to prolong the U.S. sales boost milk has gotten during the pandemic.

From January through mid-July, U.S. milk retail sales were up 8.3% to 6.4 billion dollars. During the same period last year, milk sales were down more than 2%.

The dairy industry says kids are eating lunches at home and adults have more time for breakfast and for cooking with milk.