Many ag industry groups like the American Farm Bureau Federation and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have been strong supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. But a segment within the dairy industry isn’t so sure TPP will be beneficial in its current form.
The Wisconsin Farmers Union surveyed 1,000 dairy producers and 80 percent expressed serious concerns about milk imports and think the deal should be rejected until those concerns are dealt with. The Wisconsin Farmers Union thinks the trade deal would open up a large influx of milk concentrates from New Zealand. They fear those imports will replace a great deal of Wisconsin milk and cheese production.
The deal would allow dairy producers access to 11 other countries in the TPP, like Japan. The survey revealed some concerns that farmers have about currency manipulation on the island country.
However, other groups like the Dairy Farmers of America say the TPP deal will be good for producers because of better access and lower tariffs in growing markets around the world. The DFA says America has exported 15 percent of its overall milk production in recent years and that number will only grow with TPP in place.