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Dairy Facts 2016

China Lowers Tariffs on US Cheese

Nov 29, 2017

The Chinese government last week announced it will reduce import tariffs on 187 consumer products, including six U.S. dairy products, starting Dec. 1. They are categorized as varieties of grated and powdered cheeses; non-grated or powdered processed cheese; blue veined cheese; other cheese; hydrolyzed protein formula; and prepackaged infant foods.

According to a report in Bloomberg, China’s Ministry of Finance released a statement on the reductions Friday, citing the need to help consumers access quality and specialty products that aren’t widely produced locally.

China is one of the fastest growing dairy export markets and the third largest market for U.S. dairy products, valued at more than $386 million. The United States currently exports $34 million worth of cheese to China.

Tariff Reductions

The tariffs for varieties of grated or powdered cheese, non-grated or powdered processed cheese and other cheese will drop from 12 percent to 8 percent, while tariffs for blue veined cheese will drop from 15 percent to 8 percent. China will eliminate tariffs on hydrolyzed protein formula and lower its tariff on prepackaged infant foods from 15 percent to 2 percent.

View the list of tariff reductions here.

Tariff Reductions Bolster MOU

The tariff reduction is the second major action taken this year by the Chinese government that will increase American dairy companies’ access to the growing market.

In June, the Food and Drug Administration signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese government to establish a formal registration process for U.S. food manufacturers who export milk and milk products to China. The agreement increases access for nearly 300 U.S. dairy exporters to 1.3 billion potential Chinese consumers and paves the way for future exports to the country.

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

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