Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Be Positive for Dairy

November 7, 2015 05:27 AM

Thursday the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement was released. The deal involves trade between 12 countries including the U.S., Japan, Canada and New Zealand, touching 40% of the global economy. The full text of the deal comes to public scrutiny after months of collaboration between the involved countries and signs indicate it will be positive for dairy.

Congress has 90 days to review the deal and decide whether to support it or not. In turn, that means interest groups have less than 90 days to review the impact of the deal and lobby for their industry. Following the 90 day notice to Congress there will be a 60 day period for public review.

Longtime political analyst Charlie Garrison of the Garrison Group says there could possibly not be a final decision until this time next year even though the deal will be President Obama’s biggest priority for 2016.

National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Global Dairy Exports council released a joint statement on Thursday saying they are reviewing the “Thousands of tariff lines, hundreds of new rules, new chapters on Sanitary & Phytosanitary requirements, as well as a whole new chapter on protecting common food names” included in the text. They went on to say “All must be thoroughly reviewed before we can make a more informed determination of the final impact of the agreement on the U.S. dairy industry, and are able to determine whether or not we recommend that members of Congress support the agreement.”

The deal is particularly important to the dairy industry because almost 14% of the milk produced in the U.S. is sold to markets in other countries. While NMPF hasn’t made any official comments on the full text of the deal, Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of the group, shared some of his thoughts with “AgDay” host Clinton Griffiths at the 2015 Elite Producers Business Conference.

Mulhern says dairy has some “wins” in the agreement including access to Canada.

“We’ve made some progress,” Jim Mulhern says. “Canada opened up its market for the first time.”

Another positive aspect for U.S. dairy is access to the Japanese market.

“We’ll get more opportunity there [Japan],” he says, “frankly, not as much as we wanted.”

Garrison says all export access will be positive for the dairy sector although it will take years for that access to kick in.

New Zealand has been top of mind during the deal making process. The milk producing country didn’t get access to the U.S. dairy market like they were hoping for; that’s significant for U.S. milk producers according to Mulhern.

 “It’s going to be more of a balanced agreement for the U.S. than it could have been,” he says.

Watch the full clip from “AgDay” below:

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