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USDEC’s Harden Testifies on Farm Bill Trade Title at House Agriculture Subcommittee Hearing


Mark O'Keefe, USDEC
PHONE: (703) 528-4812

ARLINGTON, VA – Krysta Harden, President and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), today called on Congress and the administration to support a number of specific policy proposals that will help grow U.S. dairy exports. She testified before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture in a hearing entitled, “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill: International Trade and Food Assistance Programs.”

“Since USDEC was founded 27 years ago, dairy exports have grown ten-fold, reaching a record $7.75 billion last year. Today, exports account for 17% of U.S. milk production,” said Harden. “Those impressive export results are a result of our members’ hard work, coupled with U.S. programs and policies that support exports such as those in the farm bill’s trade title.” 

Harden then laid out a comprehensive trade roadmap to support U.S. dairy exports, focused on both farm bill provisions and essential trade policies that can complement the farm bill. Through its trade policy partnership with the National Milk Producers Federation, USDEC will continue its work to inform the development of the next farm bill and complementary U.S. government programs.

Within the scope of the farm bill, Harden: 

  • Called on Congress to double funding for the Market Access Program (MAP) and the Foreign Market Development (FMD) programs. These programs promote American-produced products in highly competitive global markets and also help fight the European Union’s efforts to use geographical indications to create non-tariff barriers in foreign markets.
  • Recommended that Congress seek opportunities to increase the use of U.S. dairy ingredients across U.S. food aid programs. As part of this, she called on Congress to scale up purchases of U.S. ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). Powdered milk is a primary ingredient in RUTF, which treats the deadliest form of childhood malnutrition.
  • Suggested adding two new provisions to next year’s farm bill. The first would include language to more effectively combat the EU’s abuse of geographical indications by using various tools to proactively defend common names. The second recommend provision would provide specific timeframes for the Administration to put forward crucial nominees overseeing agricultural trade.

Outside the scope of the farm bill, Harden asked Congress and the administration to:

  • Actively pursue comprehensive trade agreements that benefit agriculture.
  • Maximize use of other trade tools, including Trade and Investment Framework Agreements.
  • Strongly enforce existing trade agreements including, but not exclusively in, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).


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.