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USTR Supply Chain Resilience Objectives Overlook Need for Comprehensive and Competitive U.S. Trade Policy

WASHINGTON, April 23, 2024 — Today, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) submitted written comments to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on the administration’s objective to develop strategies that support and advance U.S. supply chain resilience as a priority area in trade negotiations, enforcement, and other initiatives. Those comments are available here.

IDFA is grateful to be the only food and agriculture association invited to provide testimony at the USTR public hearing on May 2, 2024. Trade and access to export markets remain critical to the dairy industry, and IDFA will continue to prioritize the issue with this administration.

In reference to this issue and the request for comments from USTR, IDFA Senior Vice President of Trade and Workforce Policy, Becky Rasdall, issued the following statement:

“IDFA members continue to call on the Biden administration to negotiate FTAs that include tariff reductions for U.S. dairy exports. The U.S. dairy sector cannot achieve further growth in domestic production and manufacturing without a trade policy agenda that supports foreign market liberalization, such as through the negotiation of new FTAs.

“IDFA believes questions posed in this request for comments that aim to establish the value or virtue of certain policies over others falls outside the scope of USTR’s mandate to advise, lead negotiations, and oversee enforcement. IDFA therefore strongly objects to the questions posed by seeking input only on those trade policies USTR perceives to be ‘virtuous’ rather than seeking broad and transparent input on all U.S. trade policies without prejudice toward the value of a policy, which should ultimately be determined by U.S. stakeholders such as IDFA.

“IDFA feels that U.S. agriculture is experiencing a historic agricultural trade deficit because USTR is not advancing trade policies that remove tariff and non-tariff barriers while supporting growth in U.S. dairy exports.”

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