U.S. Dairy Industry May Pull Support for Trans-Pacific Partnership

By:  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
U.S. Dairy Industry May Pull Support for Trans-Pacific Partnership

Organizations representing the milk and dairy industry have threatened to pull their support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership unless Canada and Japan agree to import U.S. dairy products.

On June 3, American dairy farmers and milk processors promised to work to thwart passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) if trade representatives from Japan and Canada do not agree to significantly increase the amount of dairy imported from the United States.

In a letter addressed to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and the Department of Agriculture, a substantial consortium of U.S. dairy farmer cooperatives and dairy processing companies, all of which are members of the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) or the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), “threatened to withdraw support” from the pending purported trade agreement if the two TPP partners “refuse to follow through on pledges to provide comprehensive market access for U.S. dairy products.”

Far from opposing the sovereignty surrender masquerading as a “free trade agreement,” the dairy industry brags in its letter of its work to make sure the treaty is passed and put into force.

“USDEC has been one of the most vocal champions of the importance of including Japan and Canada in TPP since these markets offer strong opportunities for our members to expand U.S. dairy exports,” stated Tom Suber, president of USDEC. 

“However, it is critical that their participation in TPP be meaningful and comprehensive across all dairy products. It is entirely unacceptable to have such sizable, sophisticated economies refusing to undertake the necessary openness that they agreed to upon entering TPP.” 

Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF, noted in a press release that, “As we have made clear in our letter to Ambassador Froman and Secretary Vilsack, we want to see very strong outcomes on market access with Japan and Canada, and our industry remains prepared to match the level of ambition of those countries. To be successful, any eventual TPP agreement must result in more open dairy markets in Japan and Canada.”

Given the frightening assault on American sovereignty and lawmaking power, it is surprising that domestic industry would work so hard to hand over control of regulatory authority to an international body of bureaucrats, all of whom will be unaccountable to the American people ostensibly served by the dairy industry.

While congressmen have been repeatedly stiff-armed by the USTR when they have tried to exercise some TPP oversight, there are over 600 industry lobbyists and "advisors," as well as unelected trade representatives, seated at the negotiating table.

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