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Dykes Delivers US Trade Outlook at World Dairy Summit

Nov 01, 2017

Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, addressed international dairy leaders attending the World Dairy Summit this week in Belfast, Ireland, providing an in-depth look at the shifting U.S. trade policy and what’s at stake for dairy.

Dykes shared a brief history of how America’s growing concerns about job loss and a slow-growing economy have driven the nation’s voters and policy makers to a more protectionist attitude toward international trade policy. He demonstrated that the U.S. economy is starting to improve despite a new era of uncertainty about the domestic trade policy. He stressed that the U.S. government should again embrace a proactive trade policy and focus on new bilateral free trade agreements, noting that U.S. milk production likely will to continue to outpace domestic consumption at the same time that the world population is expected to add an additional 2 billion people over the next 30 years.

The summit is hosted by the International Dairy Federation (IDF) and annually attracts more than 1,000 international stakeholders to discuss the future of the global dairy industry. Dykes delivered his remarks on Tuesday as part of the global Dairy Policy and Economics track.  

Although U.S. consumption is growing for some dairy products, Dykes explained, America’s dairy production is on track to exceed demand with an additional 50 billion pounds of milk in the next decade.

Dykes said American dairy products could play an increasingly important role in feeding the growing global population, set to increase to nine billion by the year 2050. IDFA is encouraging U.S. trade officials to move quickly on bilateral trade agreements before the European Union and other countries secure pacts in these new markets.

“It’s essential for our continued success to strategically secure new trade agreements that provide export opportunities to new and expanding markets before our global competitors gain competitive advantages in these new markets,” Dykes said.

Dairy Policy and Economics

Tuesday sessions at the summit featured several different trade policy discussions covering current issues and trends in Canada, the European Union, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, as well as the United States. Other sessions were devoted to dairy sustainability, nutrition, marketing, science and technology, food safety and more.

Joining Dykes in representing IDFA at the summit, Oct. 29 to Nov. 3, are Cary Frye, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs; John Allan, vice president of regulatory affairs and international standards; and Heather Soubra, IDFA chief of staff. Also during this meeting, Frye was elected to the IDF board of directors.

IDFA will provide highlights from IDF’s concurrent business and committee meetings next week.

For more information, contact Frye at

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