Chinese Market to Remain Open for U.S. Dairy Products

April 30, 2010 06:08 AM

China will grant the U.S. 30 days to work with Chinese authorities to secure agreement on a new health certificate for food-grade dairy exports to the Asian nation, a move that major American dairy groups applauded today.


The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) also praised the Chinese government for recognizing 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 sent a letter to the U.S. government, with notice 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,” USDEC, IDFA and NMPF said in a joint news release today.


The three groups said swift action by the Foreign Agriculture Service, in close coordination with the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration, 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. Last year, foreign sales 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,” the joint release said.


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.


They also 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.


Source: U.S. Dairy Export Council news release


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