The National Milk Producers Federation praised the successful resolution of negotiations with China on an import dairy certificate, a measure that provides certainty to U.S. dairy exporters in order to enhance U.S.-China dairy trade. U.S. and China government officials have been negotiating a new certificate for nearly three years, since China revised its requirements under the dairy certificate in the first part of 2010.
Despite continued access to the Chinese market, the lack of an agreed-upon certificate impeded greater U.S. dairy exports, due to the uncertainty of whether the issue would ultimately be resolved.
“It is important to acknowledge the responsible example set by China in this situation due to their careful handling of trade during certificate negotiations," said Jerry Kozak, NMPF president and CEO.
“Too often in the wake of new regulations, we see countries rush to shut their markets, even when no underlying food safety concern exists, simply over documentation matters. In its handling of this issue, China has set an admirable example for the world by permitting dairy trade with the U.S. to continue.”
U.S. dairy sales to China in 2012 were an estimated $400 million. U.S. dairy exports to China have grown by more than 100 percent since 2010 and are expected to continue to grow to help meet the increasing demand for dairy products in that country.
Kozak noted, “Dairy producers across this country owe their thanks to Secretary Tom Vilsack and his team at the USDA, as well as the critical support provided by the FDA and the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office.
"Working together, they provided China with the clear food safety assurances China needs in order to help safeguard the health of its population.”
The U.S. will begin issuing the new certificate immediately for product destined for China. Certificates issued by the U.S. prior to Jan. 18, 2013 will be valid through March 20, 2013 but not accepted by China after that date. PD
—From National Milk Producers Federation news release