Home Industry News Economics USTR Supply Chain Resilience Objectives Overlook Need for Competitive U.S. Trade Policy

USTR Supply Chain Resilience Objectives Overlook Need for Competitive U.S. Trade Policy

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) recently submitted written comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the administration’s objective to develop strategies that support and advance U.S. supply chain resilience as a priority area in trade negotiations, enforcement, and other initiatives. Those comments are available here.

IDFA is grateful to be the only food and agriculture association that was invited to provide testimony at the USTR public hearing on May 2, 2024. Trade and access to export markets remain critical to the dairy industry, and IDFA will continue to prioritize the issue with this administration.

In reference to this issue and the request for comments from USTR, IDFA Senior Vice President of Trade and Workforce Policy, Becky Rasdall, issued the following statement:

“IDFA members continue to call on the Biden administration to negotiate FTAs that include tariff reductions for U.S. dairy exports. The U.S. dairy sector cannot achieve further growth in domestic production and manufacturing without a trade policy agenda that supports foreign market liberalization, such as through the negotiation of new FTAs.

“IDFA believes questions posed in this request for comments that aim to establish the value or virtue of certain policies over others falls outside the scope of USTR’s mandate to advise, lead negotiations, and oversee enforcement. IDFA therefore strongly objects to the questions posed by seeking input only on those trade policies USTR perceives to be ‘virtuous’ rather than seeking broad and transparent input on all U.S. trade policies without prejudice toward the value of a policy, which should ultimately be determined by U.S. stakeholders such as IDFA.

“IDFA feels that U.S. agriculture is experiencing a historic agricultural trade deficit because USTR is not advancing trade policies that remove tariff and non-tariff barriers while supporting growth in U.S. dairy exports.”

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.2 million jobs that generate $49 billion in direct wages and $794 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent most of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.

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