NMPF and USDEC Advocate for Enhanced Dairy Trade Opportunities at USTR Hearing

ARLINGTON, VA  Tony Rice, Trade Policy Director for the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), will testify this afternoon before USTR on how U.S. trade policy can strengthen supply chain resiliency and ensure that U.S. dairy continues to grow as a global leader.

The U.S. dairy industry exported more than $8 billion worth of products in 2023, supporting thousands of jobs and contributing significantly to the national economy. Rice in his testimony will highlight the need for a more proactive U.S. trade policy agenda that aggressively tackles global trade barriers and enhances market access to key partners.

“An inclusive, worker-centered trade policy should reflect the central role that comprehensive trade agreements and American exports play for the agricultural economy and the many farmers and workers throughout the supply chain who rely on it,” Rice says in his prepared statement. “Expanding export sales does not only support America’s farms, but also traditionally underserved workers in rural communities and in companies supplying inputs and services, in downstream food manufacturing plant jobs, and in cities with large port facilities heavily dependent on trade.”

Rice also recommends that USTR incorporate dairy-specific elements in trade negotiations, drawing on the precedent set by annexes for wine in various agreements, or the broad recognition of the U.S. regulatory system for processed foods including dairy in the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement.

“Such steps would facilitate smooth, more reliable and robust dairy supply chains with our trading partners,” Rice says in his statement.

Find NMPF and USDEC’s full testimony here.

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