The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) thanked a bipartisan group of 22 senators for urging the Obama administration to increase market access for U.S. dairy products into Canada and Japan as part of any final Pacific Rim trade agreement.

In a letter (PDF, 1.3MB) led by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the senators asked that the U.S. secure significant market access benefits across all dairy products, particularly into Japan and Canada, in ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.

In addition to underscoring the critical importance of achieving these export gains, the letter also pointed to the need to avoid an imbalanced outcome that grants more access to our competitors than the U.S. gains into Canada and Japan.

One-third of the Senate Finance Committee, including Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), was among the bipartisan group of senators sending this message to U.S. negotiators.

“We applaud this Senate message recognizing that a final Pacific Rim trade agreement must deliver significant access for U.S. dairy exports, as well as ultimately achieve positive results for U.S. dairy producers by ensuring that any additional New Zealand access to U.S. dairy markets is not higher than the market opening we expect to see from Canada and Japan,” says NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern.


USDEC President Tom Suber adds, “The U.S. dairy industry has worked tirelessly for years to help ensure that the final TPP agreement results in strong market access gains in this important region of the world. Now is crunch time. We appreciate this senate message about the importance of staying the course on market access goals to ensure that this deal creates a positive result that producers and processors can strongly support.”

Dairy is one of the last issues to be resolved in the TPP negotiations, which could be completed by next month. PD

—From National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council news release