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USDEC, NMPF Statement on Selection of New U.S. Trade Representative

CONTACTS:

Mark O'Keefe, USDEC
PHONE: (703) 528-4812
FAX: 703-528-3705
mokeefe@usdec.org

Chris Galen, NMPF
PHONE: (703) 243-6111
FAX: 703-841-9328
cgalen@nmpf.org

From Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF, and
Matt McKnight, Senior Vice President of Market Access,
Regulatory and Industry Affairs for USDEC

ARLINGTON, VA - "America's dairy farmers and processors welcome the opportunity to work closely with Robert Lighthizer as the new U.S. Trade Representative. The role of the U.S. Trade Representative is critical to successful U.S. engagement with growing global markets. Mr. Lighthizer's previous experiences as Deputy USTR, Chief of Staff for the Senate Finance Committee, and his direct private sector engagement in enforcing trade rules on behalf of his clients will serve him well in forging a path forward on trade policy that will benefit this country. 

"The U.S. dairy industry, like most other agricultural sectors across America, has significantly benefited from the agricultural provisions of prior U.S. free trade agreements. At the same time, however, we face a growing wave of nontariff barriers that threaten to impede overseas sales. Our NAFTA partners epitomize both sides of that story: Our dairy agreement with Mexico has created an export market worth well over $1 billion a year, while on the other side of the border Canada has at every opportunity decided to flout its dairy trade commitments to the U.S.

"A focus on preserving and growing what is working well, while cracking down further on what is not, will help to expand global markets for U.S. dairy farmers and the companies that turn their milk into nutritious dairy products shipped all over the world. Given that every $1 billion in U.S. dairy exports translates into over 23,000 jobs in the dairy sector and related industries, expanding dairy sales abroad is a strong job-creation strategy. 

"USDEC and NMPF look forward to continuing our dialogue with the incoming Administration on the importance of pursuing well-negotiated trade agreements that bolster our ability to serve consumers in foreign markets."

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The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of nearly 32,000 dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.

The U.S. Dairy Export Council is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe. The U.S. Dairy Export Council prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, disability, national origin, race, color, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital status, military status, and arrest or conviction record. www.usdec.org.