China Grants 30-Day Reprieve on Imports

April 30, 2010 06:10 AM
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today applauded the announcement by China granting the U.S. 30 days to work with Chinese authorities to secure agreement on a new health certificate for food-grade dairy exports to China. Industry leaders also praised the Chinese government for its recognition of the need to allow trade to continue while resolution of this complex issue is addressed by technical staff.
On April 21 the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) sent a letter to the U.S. government notifying them that due to the lack of an agreed-upon health certificate, China planned to no longer accept U.S. food-grade dairy products as of May 1. There had been no ongoing discussions related to an inadequacy of U.S. certification language prior to the notification.
Swift action by the Foreign Agriculture Service, in close coordination with the U.S. Trade Representative's Office (USTR), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed the market to remain open and enable trade to continue to flow uninterrupted. The U.S. dairy industry exports billions of dollars of dairy products all around the world; foreign sales last year totaled $2.3 billion. As global trade is one of the most critical components of our industry today, policies that maintain and grow returns to U.S. dairy sector, play a critical role. 
IDFA, USDEC and NMPF indicated their intent to work closely with the U.S. government to ensure successful resolution of this issue over the course of the next month and urged attention to the need for careful coordination among the relevant U.S. agencies in order to secure agreement on new certificate language during this period. 

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