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National Dairy Groups Praise Ryan's Trade Comments
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/06/2015

Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan is getting a thumbs up from two national dairy organizations after he called on Canada and Japan to open their markets to U.S. dairy farmers. The Janesville Republican, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, said the two nations should either work with our nation's farmers or withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade talks. He made those comments to the Washington International Trade Association on Thursday.

"We could not agree more with Rep. Ryan's statement that Canada's 'big restrictions on dairy, poultry and eggs products... have to go,'" said National Milk Producers Federation CEO Jim Mulhern. "Too many times in the past, Canada has gotten a pass on its impenetrable tariff wall on dairy imports. It is time Canada provides significant market access on all dairy products, from cheese to butter to milk."

Tom Suber of the U.S. Dairy Export Council agrees. He said his group appreciates the intense trade negotiations now under way between the United States and Japan, but feels there's still more work to do.

"Japan's ongoing efforts to limit meaningful market access on key U.S. dairy products are not in keeping with a trade agreement designed to expand trade opportunities," Suber said.

Mulhern says Ryan recognizes that the European Union is trying to subvert the concept of geographical indications in a blatant effort to create barriers to U.S. exports of cheese and other products.

Ryan hopes that US-EU trade talks will address this problem, as well as the proliferation of other barriers to U.S. agricultural exports.

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