Dairy industry urges US officials to prioritize TPP market access gainsThe US dairy industry has reached out to US government agricultural trade negotiators to inform them that their efforts on any final Pacific Rim free trade agreement must put access to foreign markets for US dairy farmers first and avoid pressure from other countries to regionalize all new market access opportunities in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) sent letters expressing this point to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“The Japan-Australia FTA is an excellent example of the negative impact such a dynamic can have on US interests,” said Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO. “Our competitors in other TPP countries must work with their own governments to secure market access rather than insisting that any gains secured by the U.S. in challenging areas such as agriculture be made broadly available to all.”

The organizations applauded US efforts to gain market access through TPP for US dairy products in countries including Japan and Canada. They stressed that no tariff line should be left untouched in this agreement.

“We believe the negotiators will continue to push forward and leave no stone unturned in their negotiations with Japan and Canada,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.

The letter, available here, was sent in advance of a meeting of the chief TPP negotiators in Washington next week.