WASHINGTON, October 26, 2021—The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) submitted comments recently on the 2022 National Trade Estimate (NTE) Report, which details U.S. concerns with foreign barriers to trade for Congress annually. This year, IDFA’s submission included a range of concerns including newly emerging barriers related to impending halal certification in Egypt to long-standing trade concerns such as Canada’s milk class policies.
“We are pleased to be able to contribute to the U.S. government’s efforts to collect a compendium of trade barriers affecting the dairy industry. The NTE Report is a foundational tool to ensuring U.S. dairy trade priorities are made public, assessed, and incorporated into the U.S. trade agenda,” said Becky Rasdall, vice president for trade policy and international affairs for IDFA. “Trade is more important to U.S. dairy now than it has ever been.”
In keeping with IDFA’s recognition of the importance of trade to the future of U.S. dairy, IDFA announced today that Rasdall is a founding board member of the Agriculture Trade Education Council, ATEC, launching this week. ATEC’s aim is to educate stakeholders about the value of agricultural trade policies, practices, and structures, with an end goal of facilitating growth in U.S. food and agriculture through trade. Having already provided some trade policy training for IDFA members, and served as support staff and/or negotiator for at least three agreements, Rasdall is well-positioned to advance ATEC’s mission.
“Helping U.S. dairy understand the increasing globalization of their customer and consumer bases, and how best to understand and use trade policy to access those customers, is something I’m passionate about. But I also recognize that U.S. dairy is clearly not alone in these needs, and so am honored to contribute to the important work ATEC will be putting forward.”
Trade is a major policy priority for the dairy industry, as is maintaining open export markets that enable U.S. dairy producers and exporters to maximize their opportunities. The United States exports approximately $6.5 billion in dairy products to over 133 countries around the world every year. Approximately one day’s worth of U.S. milk production each week goes to exports. Recent estimates show that on a fluid milk basis, the United States now exports more than we consume at home.
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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.3 million jobs that generate $41.6 billion in direct wages and $753 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent 90 percent of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.