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IDFA, Global Dairy Groups Urge Chile to Keep Markets Open

May 09, 2018

IDFA is continuing to fight for free and fair global trade for U.S. dairy products and increased market access in many areas abroad. Most recently, IDFA and several groups representing the dairy industries in Argentina, Australia, the European Union, New Zealand and Uruguay urged the Chilean government to continue to allow dairy imports into the country.

The groups made the request in response to Chile’s recent investigation to determine if imports of whole dry milk, nonfat dry milk and gouda cheese represent a threat to Chile’s domestic dairy industry. If Chilean officials deem imports a threat, they could enact safeguards to reject these products.

U.S. dairy companies exported more than $25 million worth of nonfat dry milk to Chile last year, making the United States the largest exporter with 76 percent of the market.

In a letter sent last week to Chilean officials, the groups said the safeguards could harm both Chile’s economy and the trade of gouda and milk powders on the world market.

“We are concerned that the imposition of safeguards on powdered milk and gouda has the potential to cause trade diversion, potentially undermining commodity prices in all export destinations,” the groups said. “Chile is an exporter of dairy products, with many agricultural producers reliant on exports. This action may set an unhelpful precedent for those countries that are destinations for Chilean origin dairy products.”

The groups also expressed concerns about the premise of the investigation, noting that Chile has been at the forefront of supporting liberalized trade in agricultural products. They urged the officials to continue to demonstrate their support for open and free trade.

Read the letter here.

Members with questions may contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at bhughes@idfa.org.

 
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