07.28.15

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin Joins Bipartisan Effort to Protect Wisconsin Dairy Farmers in Trade Negotiations

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, has joined a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in sending a letter to United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, urging him to protect the nation’s dairy industry as negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue.

“We write to request your support for ensuring the domestic dairy industry gains significant market access benefits across all products in ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations,” the Senators wrote. “It is critical that any final TPP agreement provides meaningful benefits to our dairy producers and processors.”   

Specifically, the Senators urged Ambassador Froman to make the following three issues a top priority:

  • Increase market access and reduce tariffs in Canada.  Canada is a leading export market for our dairy products, valued at $592 million in 2014, notwithstanding exceptionally high tariffs that create barriers to our dairy products.  However, most product is shipped under Canada’s Import for Re-Export Program which ultimately returns to the United States.  It is critical that Canada offers significant and commercially-meaningful market access to U.S. dairy products.
  • Increase market access and reduce tariffs in Japan.  Japan is also a leading export market for our dairy products, valued at $407 million in 2014, even though it imposes high tariffs and other trade barriers on our nation’s dairy products.  It is critical that TPP offers meaningful and expanded opportunities for our dairy products in Japan.
  • Ensure the domestic dairy industry gains significant market access in both Canada and Japan for key dairy commodities in a balanced way compared to any new market access granted to New Zealand’s dairy industry into the United States.  New Zealand exports 95 percent of its dairy products.  If our dairy industry does not achieve comparable export gains in Japan and Canada as compared to those made by New Zealand into the United States, we are concerned that TPP could damage our industry’s current export opportunities and domestic market share.  This is yet another reason why significant market access gains for U.S. dairy products into Canada and Japan are essential for TPP.

Senators Baldwin and Feinstein were joined in signing the letter by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John Cornyn (R-TX), John Thune (R-SD), Robert Casey (D-PA), James Risch (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John Hoeven (R-ND), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Rob Portman (R-OH), Ron  Johnson (R-WI) and Cory Gardner (R-CO).