The national dairy organizations of the United States, Australia and New Zealand last week in a letter to their respective trade and agriculture officials called for a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
Representing three of the leading dairy exporting nations in the world, the groups said TPP can eliminate trade distortions and provide safe, affordable dairy products for consumers.
The dairy organizations specifically called for "significantly increased dairy market access" with Japan and Canada, two of the 12 partners in the treaty.
Noting that negotiations with Japan have made progress, the organizations said TPP goals shouldn't be sacrificed for speed.
The group noted a special concern is Canada, which "needs to provide more meaningful market access for all dairy products" to stay in the TPP, a joint statement said.
"Our neighbor to the north needs to come to the table now with a substantial offer on dairy," said Connie Tipton, president and CEO of the International Dairy Foods Association. "The U.S. dairy industry will not accept another deal like the North American Free Trade Agreement that allows Canada to exclude dairy. TPP was launched to open markets, not create more barriers."
Trade also is restricted by more subtle, non-tariff measures, such as the European Union's aggressive stance on geographical indications, the groups said.
These restrictions were demonstrated in the EU trade agreement with Canada, they said, and a new agreement shouldn't include these non-tariff measures.
Source: International Dairy Foods Association/ U.S. Dairy Export Council/National Milk Producers Federation