SPS / TBT Barriers to Trade

U.S. dairy exporters face both tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade, including sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures and other technical barriers to trade (TBT) such as testing, certification, labeling, packaging and certification requirements. Using a mix of advocacy, government relations, and coalition-building efforts, IDFA fights on behalf of our members and the U.S. dairy industry to remove unfair barriers to trade for U.S. dairy exports in markets around the world.

Removing Barriers to Trade

IDFA works on its own as well as with coalitions of companies and organizations across the food and agriculture industries to aggressively advocate for the enforcement of trade agreements and the removal of unfair barriers to trade.

In October 2019, IDFA submitted comments to USTR highlighting trade impediments the U.S. dairy industry faces specifically in Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, India, Russia and the United Kingdom. Several of these issues highlighted in IDFA’s comments were captured in a recent report by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), 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.


June 2020: IDFA urges Canada's Coordinator for the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal, to reject a motion filed by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario (DFO) requesting that the Tribunal restrict public access to DFO milk pricing regulations. IDFA believes the DFO is advocating for the creation of a new class 6 and 7 pricing program--which was dismantled under the USMCA agreement--which would selectively discount Canadian milk prices below global prices, and thereby encourage import substitution. Read IDFA's letter here.


June 2020: In early May, the Government of Mexico published a draft cheese conformity assessment procedure for NOM-223 that requires cheese be tested to ensure it conforms to the outlined standards. IDFA voiced its concern that this measure runs counter to the intent of USMCA to improve trade flows between our nations and is inconsistent with Mexico’s international trade obligations. Read the letter to Ambassador Bárcena.

IDFA Staff Expert

Becky Rasdall

Vice President, Trade Policy and International Affairs