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Clay Hough Testifies on Canada Joining TPP Talks

Sep 26, 2012

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative held a public hearing on Monday to hear testimony regarding Canada's participation in negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, testified that IDFA supports Canada's participation, but the country must abandon its current dairy policies because they conflict with TPP goals.

"The ultimate objective of dairy market access discussions with Canada should be for full duty-free access," Hough said. "Canada's supply management system should be reformed and distortions to the trade of dairy products should be removed."

Hough explained that these market-oriented reforms and further integration of the North American dairy market would encourage innovation, product development and growth for the Canadian dairy industry and U.S. dairy exporters.

Despite its significant barriers, Canada is the second-largest dairy market for U.S. exports, accounting for more than $444 million in exports last year. Mexico, which will also join the TPP negotiations, is the top export market for U.S. dairy products and has been a success story for dairy trade under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The TPP is currently being negotiated by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. Japan has expressed interest in participating as well.

Doug Bell, counselor and assistant U.S. trade representative for trade policy and economics, presided over the proceedings. Also participating were Barbara Weisel, assistant U.S. trade representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific; John Melle, assistant U.S. trade representative for the Americas; and other interagency officials.

IDFA also submitted written comments to USTR last month.

The list of witnesses and a link to all testimony are available here.

For more information, contact John Kelly, IDFA manager of international affairs, at jkelly@idfa.org.

 
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