The Chinese government will block U.S. dairy products from entering the country Saturday, unless an agreement can be reached with the U.S. government.
On April 21, China notified the United States it would block imports of U.S. dairy products May 1 due to alleged deficient export certification. However, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service is not saying what that "deficiency” is.
"On April 21, the United States was informed that exports of dairy products destined for China would be halted on May 1 unless the U.S. Government agrees to a change in the export certificate. This change on the animal health statement is inconsistent with science and international standards,” says a USDA spokesperson. "The U.S. Government will continue efforts to work closely with Chinese authorities to prevent any market closures.”
If it fails, the results could be substantial. "Dairy trade with China has increased exponentially over the past few years, with exports increasing from $61.6 million in 2005 to over $180 million in 2008,” says Connie Tipton, International Dairy Foods Association president and CEO. The loss of the Chinese market will have a major economic impact on dairy producers, processors and suppliers just when dairy markets are starting to recover, she says.