Dairy industry leaders want to increase trade deals to support growing production

Dairy farmers are continuing their call for expanded market access.

Robert Chesler is the CEO of the United Dairymen of Arizona and says growth in dairy exports is limited by government and the limited number of free trade agreements.

“Between 2017 and 2020, the U.S. has entered nine trade agreements and we are clearly falling behind the competition with the disadvantage into key marketing regions, in particular the ASEAN region,” he explains.

He says while the U.S. produces 17 times the volume of milk of Australia, they have more trade agreements and points to Europe as also having more agreements than the U.S. despite their limited production.

“If we can have the free trade agreements to get us into premium markets, it gives us money to invest in efficiency that helps to feed the masses all at the same time,” he says.

Head of the U.S. Dairy Export Council Krysta Harden echoes Chesler’s call, saying the industry faces unfavorable tariff rates when compared to competitors and regulatory barriers hamper dairy exporters’ ability to access their full market potential. USDEC also strongly supports the need for the administration to use trading tools like Trade Promotion Authority to pursue new opportunities.

Chesler spoke on the need to grow exports to support increasing U.S. milk production during a virtual town hall this week hosted by Farmers for Free Trade.

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