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Phase One U.S. Trade Deal with China Positive Step but U.S. Dairy Industry Still Needs Tariffs Lifted

Phase One U.S. Trade Deal with China Positive Step but U.S. Dairy Industry Still Needs Tariffs Lifted

By Mark O'Keefe

China's retaliatory tariffs have contributed to a 47% drop in U.S. dairy exports to China over a 12-month period.

A Phase One trade agreement between the U.S. and China signed Wednesday makes progress for the U.S. dairy industry on regulatory restrictions and other nontariff barriers hurting dairy exports to China.

But for the U.S. dairy industry to recover from double-digit declines of exports to the world's most populated country, Chinese retaliatory tariffs on U.S. dairy products and ingredients need to be lifted,  said Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council.

"Finish the job" by lifting China's tariffs on U.S. dairy exports

"These are important deliverables that USDEC has been pressing China for over the course of the last few years,” said Vilsack in a joint news release with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). “We need to continue to work with our government, China’s government and our customers to finish the job by lifting the remaining Chinese retaliatory tariffs against our exports.”



Over the 12-month period spanning December 2018 – November 2019, U.S. dairy exports to China totaled $377 million in sales. However, retaliatory tariffs on U.S. dairy products have steeply disadvantaged the U.S. industry compared to its competitors and contributed to a 47% decline in U.S. exports to China over that same period.

Farmers hurt by Chinese retaliatory tariffs

“America’s dairy farmers have been disproportionately harmed by China’s retaliatory tariffs, and we cannot ask our farmers to continue operating under this financial uncertainty,” said Randy Mooney, dairy farmer from Rogersville, Mo., and Chairman of NMPF, who joined President Trump and administration officials at the White House signing ceremony on Wednesday.

“We appreciate the hard work invested by both the U.S. and Chinese governments, but we urge China to swiftly lift all retaliatory tariffs against U.S. dairy products and work with U.S. suppliers to fulfill their purchasing commitment," Mooney said.

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