The 18th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations are concluding this week and Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president, traveled to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia to promote the interests of the U.S. dairy industry.
“The principal purpose of the meetings was to work on developing appropriate language on geographic indications in the intellectual property and/or market access titles of the TPP,” Hough said. “Dairy market access and sanitary and phytosanitary issues were also discussed.”
While in Kota Kinabalu, Hough consulted with various government negotiators regarding dairy. Hough met with the lead negotiator from New Zealand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. He also met with the Australian market access and intellectual property teams and had several meetings with members of the United States market access and intellectual property teams.
This round, which runs July 15-25, is the first to include Japan as a participant.
“With the Asia-Pacific region as the U.S. dairy industry's fastest growing export market, Japan’s entry into the TPP is significant,” said Hough. U.S. dairy shipments grew by 13 percent to reach $284 million in 2012, making Japan the fifth largest market for dairy, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Earlier this year, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed that sensitive agricultural products like dairy, rice, and beef were on the negotiating table, much to the dismay of Japan’s domestic agriculture sector. IDFA submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) supporting Japan’s inclusion in the negotiations stating that the TPP must be comprehensive and include significant market access gains for U.S. dairy.
In addition to dairy, Hough also discussed the need for the United States to generally reform the sugar program and provide significant additional access to our domestic market for imported sugar from other TPP countries, especially Australia.
Other TPP negotiating partners are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org.