US Farmers For Free Trade develop export roadmap

A coalition of US-based agricultural organisations that includes the US 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 globally, it says.

“We export 16% of everything that we produce,” says 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.”

At a recent press conference, USDEC and other members of the Farmers For Free Trade coalition offered policy recommendations, including pursuing trade agreements that eliminate tariffs and addressing technical barriers to agricultural trade, and safeguarding generic cheese terms such as 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 US 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, the coalition says.

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