From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF, and Matt McKnight, Senior Vice President of Market Access, Regulatory and Industry Affairs for USDEC:
“America’s dairy farmers and processors welcome the opportunity to work closely with Robert Lighthizer as the new U.S. Trade Representative. The role of the U.S. Trade Representative is critical to successful U.S. engagement with growing global markets. Mr. Lighthizer’s previous experiences as Deputy USTR, Chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee, and his direct private sector engagement in enforcing trade rules on behalf of his clients will serve him well in forging a path forward on trade policy that will benefit this country.
“The U.S. dairy industry, like most other agricultural sectors across America, has significantly benefited from the agricultural provisions of prior U.S. free trade agreements. At the same time, however, we face a growing wave of nontariff barriers that threaten to impede overseas sales. Our NAFTA partners epitomize both sides of that story: Our dairy agreement with Mexico has created an export market worth well over $1 billion a year, while on the other side of the border Canada has at every opportunity decided to flout its dairy trade commitments to the U.S.
“A focus on preserving and growing what is working well, while cracking down further on what is not, will help to expand global markets for U.S. dairy farmers and the companies that turn their milk into nutritious dairy products shipped all over the world. Given that every $1 billion in U.S. dairy exports translates into over 23,000 jobs in the dairy sector and related industries, expanding dairy sales abroad is a strong job-creation strategy.
“USDEC and NMPF look forward to continuing our dialogue with the incoming Administration on the importance of pursuing well-negotiated trade agreements that bolster our ability to serve consumers in foreign markets.”