House members urge phase 2 Japan trade deal to benefit dairy |

House members urge phase 2 Japan trade deal to benefit dairy

-The Hagstom Report

A bipartisan coalition of House members wrote Trump administration officials to urge them to undertake a phase two trade deal with Japan, saying it would particularly benefit the dairy industry.

The letter signed by 51 members was led by Reps. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Lloyd Smucker, R-Pa., Josh Harder, D-Calif., and Roger Marshall, R-Kan.

“Given the fact that our domestic market is a top destination for Japanese exports, Japan must ensure that the terms of trade offered to the United States are better than those offered to other, less valuable, markets,” the members wrote.

“We wholeheartedly endorse Ambassador [U.S. Trade Representative Robert] Lighthizer’s assessment during his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee in June 2019: ‘You cannot treat your best customer worse than you treat people from all these other countries in Europe and all the other TPP countries,’” the letter said.

“A particularly important opportunity for our dairy industry relates to products for which Japan gave minimal market access in its trade agreements, such as milk powder and butter.”

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the National Milk Producers Federation, said, “America’s dairy industry is ready to meet Japan’s growing demand for wholesome dairy products. However, in order to fully secure necessary market access, the U.S. must act swiftly to break down the remaining trade barriers that have left our producers at a disadvantage in this important dairy market.”

“Congress has made their message clear: A comprehensive agreement with Japan is needed to secure additional opportunities for U.S. dairy and progress should resume on its pursuit,” said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

“The Japanese market is too valuable to America’s dairy farmers and processors to let trade negotiations continue to idle. We appreciate this bipartisan coalition for their robust support of securing additional tariff concessions, science-based sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and enforceable commitments to protect common cheese names.”