Contact: Peggy Armstrong
(Washington, D.C. – April 12, 2013) The International Dairy Foods Association commends the Obama administration, especially the U.S. Trade Representative, for welcoming Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks.
Last month, IDFA joined more than 70 agricultural and business organizations to ask President Barack Obama to include Japan in the negotiations.
“U.S. dairy processors are pleased that the administration responded quickly to last month’s call for action,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president. “The addition of Japan greatly expands the scope of the TPP, and that market is a significant opportunity for U.S. dairy exports.”
Japan’s participation in the TPP talks would increase the pact's importance to U.S. farmers and ranchers, processors and exporters; spur interest in the partnership among other countries in Asia and Latin America; and signal that efforts to negotiate more open and transparent agreements will continue.
Japan’s economy is second only to China’s in the region, and it is the United States’ fourth largest agricultural export market overall, despite maintaining substantial import barriers. U.S. food and agricultural exports to Japan in 2012 totaled $13.5 billion. U.S. dairy shipments grew by 13 percent to reach $284 million in 2012, making Japan the fifth largest market for dairy, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council.
Japan still requires the consensus approval of all current TPP members. In addition to the United States, they are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. Thailand, currently the 14th largest export market for the United States, has also expressed interest in joining the talks.
The next round of talks will be held in Lima, Peru, May 15-24.
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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% 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.