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New USTR Report Identifies Burdens to Dairy Trade

Apr 04, 2018

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) last week issued its annual National Trade Estimate Report, outlining many tariff and non-tariff barriers, including protective measures and technical obstacles to trade, that U.S. dairy companies face around the world.

In October, IDFA submitted comments to USTR highlighting difficulties related to trade that the U.S. dairy industry faces specifically in Canada, the European Union, India, Indonesia and Russia. Several of these issues were captured in the report.


Canada was featured prominently in the report, which identified several burdens to U.S. dairy trade:

  • Restrictive regulations on compositional standards for cheese that discriminate against U.S. dry milk protein concentrate;
  • Canada’s supply management system that subjects cheese and butter to tariffs of 245 percent and 298 percent, respectively, for over-the-quota products; and
  • Producer marketing boards that regulate price and supply.

Canada’s expansions to the Special Milk Class Permit Program, which unfairly incentivizes the purchasing of domestic ingredients over imports, were also mentioned. 

Additionally, the USTR included Canada’s new Front of Package (FOP) labeling in the report, which would apply to packaged foods considered high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat. Canada proposed these labeling regulations on Feb. 20.

More information on Canada can be found here.

European Union

The report also noted the European Union’s consistent attempts to expand protection guaranteed for geographical indications (GIs) to common food names. It also identified several members of the EU that are in "the process of developing and implementing a variety of country of origin labeling schemes that would require an indication of the origin of milk products as well as the origin of milk, meat and wheat used as ingredients in certain processed foods.”

More information on GIs can be found here.

Other Countries

Other barriers faced by U.S. dairy companies also were included in the report, such as rules in India that require dairy products to be derived from animals fed a specific diet, as well as rules in Indonesia that require local milk processors to invest in and promote the local dairy sector. USTR also highlighted that Russia has “effectively banned the importation of U.S. dairy products” since 2010.

The full report can be found here.

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

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