Despite harsh trade rhetoric from presidential nominees, the Obama administration continues its fourth-quarter push for enactment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) before President Obama leaves office. By submitting a draft Statement of Administrative Action to Congress last Friday, the White House signaled that it wants Congress to pass TPP before the end of the year.
The draft statement outlines several major administrative actions that will change or affect existing law in order to comply with TPP. Relevant to the dairy industry, some proposed changes would enable the president to “impose country-specific safeguard measures” on some agricultural products like milk powders from Australia and New Zealand and condensed and evaporated milk from Peru. Other changes would grant broader market access and clarify rules-of-origin procedures set forth in the agreement.
In addition to signaling the president’s push for the pact, the statement is a necessary next step in the passage of TPP. The Trade Promotion Authority Act, which allows an up-or-down vote but no amendments from Congress, requires the administration to submit a draft statement at least 30 days prior to the introduction of an implementing bill.
Dairy Industry Supports TPP
The TPP is an historic pact between 12 countries containing features that will help America’s dairy foods companies and dairy farmers in the future. After months of analysis and deliberation, IDFA, the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council endorsed the pact this spring, saying the agreement presents, on balance, a step forward for U.S. dairy farmers and companies that process and market their milk.
TPP is expected to help level the playing field for U.S. exports and create new opportunities in the highly competitive Asia-Pacific region, as long it’s implemented accurately and all countries agree to honor their commitments.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at email@example.com.