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Trade News: IDFA Issues TPP Statement, Vilsack Talks U.S.-EU Trade

Jun 18, 2014

Trade News is a periodic update that provides a concise compilation of current trade happenings and their impact on the dairy industry. This week's column by Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, discusses negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP) and the AD/CVD case against imports of Mexican sugar.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Recent meetings between U.S. and Japanese negotiators on agricultural market access have yielded no real progress. Also, Canada has yet to make an offer on dairy. The Canadian negotiators are likely waiting to see what Japan negotiates in hopes that they can also keep dairy off the table. 

IDFA and four other organizations – the National Association of Wheat Growers, the National Pork Producers Council, the USA Rice Federation and the U.S. Wheat Associates – issued a statement urging U.S. negotiators to push Japan to provide meaningful agricultural market access in TPP.

The TPP ministers will meet again in Vancouver, July 3-12. A timeline for completion is still unknown.

Andrei Mikhalevsky, president and CEO of California Dairies, Inc., testified on June 11 before members of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade. In his testimony, Mikhalevsky outlined the significant contributions the dairy industry makes to the U.S. economy, highlighted the potential for continued global growth and called for eliminating current trade barriers that impede the industry’s efforts to meet the burgeoning demand for U.S. dairy products around the world.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP)

This week marks the first anniversary of the launch of T-TIP. The next round of talks between the United States and the European Union will be held July 14-18 in Brussels, Belgium. 

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack is in Europe this week discussing T-TIP and trade with EU leaders and negotiators. He highlighted the need for a strong commitment to agriculture in T-TIP in order to get the votes in Congress necessary to pass the deal. He also mentioned geographical indications (GIs) and finding common ground that doesn’t limit market access for U.S. cheese exporters; he noted that the agreement struck between Canada and the United States in not an acceptable model for T-TIP.

Sugar Antidumping and Countervailing Duties Cases

On March 28, a coalition of domestic sugar producers filed antidumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) petitions with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) against Mexican sugar exports to the U.S.  These proceedings have statutory timetables, and a final decision regarding duties will likely be rendered by May 2015.

In the meantime, some have suggested that a negotiated settlement between Mexico and the United States would address U.S. sugar producers’ concerns. However, any managed trade agreement would hurt consumers and businesses, and move America’s already protectionist sugar policy in the wrong direction, farther away from a free-market approach.

Earlier this week, the ITC released a study on its preliminary determination of injury issued last month.

For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at

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