The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) thanked the Senate for passing and sending to the White House new Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.
The two dairy groups also praised Senate passage of complementary Trade Adjustment Assistance legislation to help those who lose jobs as a result of trade. They urged the House to quickly approve TAA and send it to the president as well.
NMPF and USDEC say Trade Promotion Authority is crucial to negotiating a better deal for dairy farmers in the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as in future free trade agreements. They urge the president to sign the bill, which passed the House last week, as soon as possible.
“The U.S. dairy industry has been a strong advocate for TPA,” says NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “In turn, we have seen a broad level of support for TPA from many members of Congress in dairy districts and states. TPA now must be used by our negotiators to conclude a positive outcome for U.S. dairy producers in TPP so that we are able to realize the net trade benefits that a strong agreement could offer to the industry.”
USDEC President Tom Suber adds, “To remain competitive globally, our sector needs trade agreements that maximize our export opportunities across the wide range of dairy products produced in the United States. We are confident that TPA will help the United States effectively pursue that path and expect our trade negotiators to insist on nothing less than balanced agreements with positive results for our industry.”
Both groups also thanked three leading legislators – Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) – for playing key roles in drafting and steering TPA through Congress successfully. Hatch is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Wyden is senior Democrat on that committee. Ryan is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
TPA, which expired in 2007, is important to the U.S. dairy industry because the U.S. now exports the equivalent of one-seventh of its milk production. PD
—From National Milk Producers Federation and U.S. Dairy Export Council news release