US dairy sector prioritizes market expansion as new US Trade Representative steps in

US dairy organizations look to market expansion especially into Asia. ©iStock/Jevtic

The US dairy industry aims to work with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on a number of trade policy issues including the renegotiation of NAFTA, expanding market access channels in Asia, and preventing the loss of common food names.

“We welcome Mr. Lighthizer’ s confirmation because of his grasp of global trade rules and understanding of the importance of balanced trade agreements to the US dairy sector,” Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of USDEC, said.

Resisting geographic indications

Geographic indications (GIs) are intended to identify dairy products by their origin and would require the relabeling of several common food terms such as parmesan cheese.

"As the Trump Administration's trade policy strategy develops, we want to build upon the US government's past successes in pushing back against the EU's global GI agenda," Vilsack said.

The EU has enforced the widespread use of GI labeling policies, which the USDEC estimated would cause $2.3bn in lost sales for US dairy over three years, particularly impacting cheese sales. Cheese exports topped year-ago levels in Q1 2017, though volumes still trail 2014 and 2015 levels.

Market expansion

"We will continue to urge Lighthizer to focus on protecting Mexico, our No. 1 market, insist that Canada revoke its detrimental new milk pricing policy, and pursue additional export opportunities around the world," Mulhern said.

Despite ongoing trade disputes with Canada, US exports of fluid milk and cream were up 13% in Q1, led by double-digit gains in sales to Mexico and Canada.

Expanding its market reach to Asia remains a priority for the US dairy sector. Exports to Southeast Asia rose 16%, and sales to China were up by 74% for the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year, according to USDEC data.

"We also want to examine opportunities for bilateral trade agreements in key markets like Japan," Vilsack, who recently visited Japan on a trade mission, said.   

Related News

More than 200 US dairy processors will soon gain export access to China's market. ©iStock/CreativaImages

US dairy exporters to gain increased access to Chinese market through MOU

US dairy groups have written a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump asking for enforcement of current trade policies. ©iStock/jenoche

NMPF and USDEC write to US President-elect Trump underscoring ‘positive impact’ of US dairy

US exports of whey to China are keeping its overall export figures positive, according to USDEC monthly data.  ©iStock/marekuliasz

USDEC data shows global dairy exports on the rise despite slowdown of exports to Mexico

Tom Vilsack will take over as the new CEO of USDEC where he says he will prioritize and increase US dairy exports.

Former USDA secretary becomes new USDEC CEO and aims to ‘aggressively market’ US dairy worldwide

Submit a comment

Your comment has been saved

Post a comment

Please note that any information that you supply is protected by our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Access to all documents and request for further information are available to all users at no costs, In order to provide you with this free service, William Reed Business Media SAS does share your information with companies that have content on this site. When you access a document or request further information from this site, your information maybe shared with the owners of that document or information.