American Dairy Coalition Inc.
PO Box 10976, Green Bay, WI 54307-0976
The American Dairy Coalition has been very busy working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations to ensure trade increases for the U.S. dairy industry. This is very important to our members and the success of increasing key market access is essential.
The TPP offers new access to major markets in Japan, Canada and New Zealand and establishes scientific and risk-based requirements which will reduce the occurrence of non-tariff barriers to U.S. dairy suppliers.
Those benefits are not absolute. Japan needs to agree to include the ability to expand our dairy exports for all dairy commodities along with Canada providing significant and complete dairy market access. As for New Zealand, who is the largest dairy exporter in the world and exports 95% of their milk, the U.S. cannot continue to allow their milk exports into our country when their major markets are not comparably open to the U.S.
The American Dairy Coalition is watching closely and working with U.S. negotiators to make sure the negotiated dairy agreement delivers sufficient export gain for all commodities.
Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) rules require retailers to provide country-of-origin labeling for fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, shellfish, peanuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, ginseng, meat and poultry. This is concerning to the U.S. dairy industry because Canada and Mexico are threatening retaliation against U.S. dairy products.
COOL rules took effect approximately 1 year ago. Canada and Mexico challenged the rule at the World Trade Organization (WTO), arguing that COOL will reduce the value and number of cattle and hogs shipped to the U.S. market. They are threatening to retaliate with high tariffs on a wide variety of U.S. agricultural imports, including U.S. cheese. This is because a WTO ruling said the legislation discriminates against beef and pork coming into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico.
It is unlikely that any COOL legislation will see action until after the congressional recess. Currently, there are not enough votes in the Senate to move COOL legislation forward. U.S. COOL legislation requires that products, including beef and pork, are tagged with a label that says where the meat was raised and slaughtered. The House has already passed COOL repeal legislation by a margin of 300-131.
These types of laws are being considered because consumers are demanding to know the origin of the food they eat. They believe domestic products are better. The U.S. is challenging the level of Canada and Mexico’s countervailing tariffs they are asking for.
At this time it is hard to determine what will happen on Capitol Hill, but we do know that consumers will put pressure on their retailers and restaurants to know where their food comes from. ADC is following this closely and will keep coalition members updated.