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Colombia takes issue with U.S. dairy

A dairy policy specialist tells Brownfield unfortunately the U.S. is getting dragged into political tensions in Colombia.

At the end of June, Colombia’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism started an investigation against the U.S. saying milk powder imports have caused undue hardship to their producers.

Jamie Castaneda with the U.S. Dairy Export Council and National Milk Producers Federation says U.S. imports are about two percent or less of Colombia’s total consumption.

“Processors in Colombia actually buy 95 percent, or 94 percent, of all of their needs from domestic producers,” he shares.

Castaneda says from the more than 100 trading partners, Colombia is the first to file a complaint against the U.S. dairy industry.

“Really shame on the Colombian government for using political reasons to try to put barriers into U.S. dairy products,” he says.

Castaneda believes the upcoming elections next year in Colombia are driving the investigation.  While the market is small for the U.S., he says it’s still important to maintain relationships with existing trading partners.

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