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Dairy Farmers Reinforce Trade Priorities with Ambassador Tai at Agriculture Event Hosted by Rep. DelBene

CONTACTS:

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

Theresa Sweeney-Murphy, NMPF
PHONE: (559) 553-5895
FAX: 703-294-4348
tsweeney@nmpf.org

ARLINGTON, VA - The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today thanked Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA) for hosting U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai for a roundtable in Burlington, WA to discuss agriculture trade priorities. At the event, Washington farmers and food producers from various sectors, including dairy, raised the importance of implementing a trade policy that expands agricultural exports.

Washington dairy farmers Jeremy Visser and Mike Schoneveld, member-owners of USDEC and NMPF-member Northwest Dairy Association/Darigold, conveyed the importance of exports and global market access for the dairy industry. Visser and Schoneveld praised Rep. DelBene for her leadership on dairy trade issues to help expand opportunities for dairy in international markets.

"NMPF appreciates the hard work that Rep. DelBene has long undertaken to encourage trade policies that help expand American agricultural exports. Her recognition of the critical role that exports play for farmers' incomes and the rural economy has been central to the pursuit of trade policies that help deliver value to American dairy farmers and expand jobs in America. Dairy farmers are grateful to Ambassador Tai for launching the dispute settlement case against Canada's restrictive access to U.S. dairy and appreciate Rep. DelBene's advocacy on this matter as well. At the same time, dairy farmers are also keen to see a proactive trade agenda of opening new markets around the world," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF.

"As solid as our track record has been to date, America's dairy industry has not reached its full trade potential on the global stage. Each dairy product that we export - whether it's cheese, milk powder, or another essential dairy ingredient - has a powerful impact across the entire supply chain.  Expanding while also defending market share abroad is critical to U.S. dairy manufacturers and exporters, especially cheese exporters that are encountering barriers disguised by the European Union's Geographical Indications agenda," said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. "We thank Rep. DelBene for hosting Ambassador Tai to hear from Washington's agricultural sector directly on how to support that work through new trade agreements, enforcing trade agreements, and resolving trade barriers in other countries."

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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.