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Pacific Rim Trade Pact Ready to Advance; IDFA Awaits Dairy Details

Oct 07, 2015

After more than five years of grueling negotiations, officials from the United States and 11 other countries came to final agreement this week to conclude talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The full details of the agreement have not been made public, but IDFA believes they may be released within the next 30 days in keeping with the timeline requirements outlined in the recently passed Trade Promotion Authority law.

Immediately following the announcement on Monday, IDFA released a statement thanking U.S. trade officials for their efforts.

“IDFA thanks U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, U.S. Chief Agricultural Negotiator Darci Vetter and the entire U.S. interagency negotiating team for their hard work in bringing the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations to a close,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president. “We look forward to reviewing the agreement’s dairy provisions as they become available."

How Will Dairy Fare?

Just today, USDA released a series of fact sheets that depict how each state and individual commodities may benefit from increased agricultural trade with the 11 other TPP countries.

The fact sheet on dairy products shows that Japan agreed to eliminate tariffs on cheese in 16 years and whey in 21 years, while quotas were created for whey, butter, milk powder, evaporated and condensed milk. Canada also agreed to eliminate tariffs for whey and to expand access through duty-free tariff-rate quotes for cheese, fluid milk, butter, milk powders and other products.

View the dairy products fact sheet for highlights about the United States and remaining nine countries.

The Sweetener Users Association, of which IDFA is a member, also released a statement on the impact that TPP will have on U.S. sugar markets.

“Based on the details that have been released, the TPP will provide much-needed additional market access for U.S. sugar imports from Australia. However, we need more sugar than provided by the agreement,” the SUA statement said. “While we have gained 65,000 metric tons in additional access, the effect of the 23 percent additional quota allocation is still largely unknown. What is known is that U.S. users of sugar are facing a shortfall in sugar availability that far exceeds the 65,000 metric tons in new sugar allocation clearly provided to Australia.”

View the USDA fact sheet on sugar here.

Timing Still Uncertain

According to The New York Times, USTR Froman said the conclusion of the agreement was “an important first step.” Politico reported that Froman plans to begin briefing lawmakers as soon as next Monday.

View an infographic at "TPP: Time for Rigorous Review" for the timeline for Congressional review. The graphic was prepared by the Senate Committee on Finance. 

IDFA is closely monitoring the release of information and will share more details with members as soon as they become available. Members with questions may contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international trade, at bhughes@idfa.org.

 
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