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USDEC and Other Ag Groups Release Roadmap for Free Trade

By Mark O'Keefe
 
A coalition of agricultural organizations that includes the U.S. Dairy Export Council, National Milk Producers Federation and the American Farm Bureau Federation has released a trade-focused roadmap to help American agriculture compete and succeed.
 
Global trade plays a key role in that success formula. 
 
"We export 16% of everything that we produce," said USDEC Senior Vice President of Trade Policy Jaime Castaneda. "Without that market access, we (in the dairy industry) wouldn't have the opportunity to grow the way we have been growing."
 
eliminates tariffs and nontariff barriers on U.S. exports
 
At a press conference this week, USDEC and other members of the Farmers For Free Trade coalition offered important policy recommendations, including:
  • Pursue trade agreements that eliminate tariffs and address technical barriers to agricultural trade.  
  • Safeguard generic cheese terms like feta and parmesan. 
The recommendations captured in the roadmap come after months of planning and discussion. Last summer, town hall meetings were held in five states—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa—to gain input from the agricultural community. USDEC jointly hosted the Wisconsin event together with NMPF. Much of what was learned at those meetings was included in the final report released this week.
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