Contact: Marti Pupillo
(Washington, D.C. – October 13, 2011) The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) commends Congress for passing the long-delayed free trade agreements (FTAs) with South Korea, Panama and Colombia. All three agreements will increase the openness of these markets for dairy products and create jobs for the dairy industry.
“Passage of these agreements represents a step forward for the dairy industry toward becoming a more consistent exporter,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO. “Exports have become vital to the future of our industry, so it’s important to pursue free trade agreements and other policies that will allow for the continued growth of our industry in a global economy. We thank the administration and Congress for their leadership in completing these agreements.”
The combined benefits of the three agreements will bring the dairy industry an anticipated increase of more than $400 million in annual exports of cheese, whey, milk powders and other dairy products. This increase could bring as many as 10,000 jobs across the dairy value chain. IDFA encourages the administration to work out the technical details with these three countries so the agreements may be put into force as soon as possible.
The United States now exports over 13 percent of its milk production, and overseas demand for dairy products is booming, with global supply unable to keep up. IDFA strongly supports an ambitious trade agenda and other policies that will open additional markets, reduce existing trade barriers and encourage the continued growth of the U.S. dairy industry.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation's dairy manufacturing and marketing industries and their suppliers, with a membership of 550 companies representing a $110-billion a year industry. IDFA is composed of three constituent organizations: the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA). IDFA's 220 dairy processing members run more than 600 plant operations, and range from large multi-national organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States. IDFA can be found online at www.idfa.org.