Ribble Advocates for Dairy Market Access in Trade Talks

Aug 5, 2013 Issues: Agriculture, Jobs and the Economy

Washington, D.C. - Congressman Reid Ribble and Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT) are leading 74 bipartisan members of Congress from dairy states in a letter urging U.S. trade negotiators to seek a positive outcome for U.S. dairy farmers in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.  The letter focuses on significant market access issues with Canada, Japan, and New Zealand and the importance of securing enforceable sanitary and phytosanitary provisions.

“As talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement continue, now is the time to influence the process to get the best possible outcome.  I’m pleased that so many of my colleagues from across the country chose to join in this effort and hope it leads to a final agreement that opens new doors for Wisconsin dairy,” stated Congressman Ribble.

  Dairy farmers gave the following statements in response to Congressman Ribble's dairy trade letter:

"Trade is a critical component to Wisconsin's $59 billion agricultural economy," said Rosie Lisowe, a Calumet County dairy farmer and Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation Director. " The comprehensive agreement known as the Trans Pacific Partnership is a great opportunity to strengthen trade relationships, address existing trade barriers and improve the competitiveness of American agriculture in the important Asian and Pacific markets."

"While already the fourth largest importer of American agricultural products, Japan's addition to the TPP is very important," Lisowe added. "The TPP negotiations seem like the best vehicle to resolve Japan's restrictive policies that inhibit U.S. dairy imports. I'm pleased to see that Congressman Ribble is supportive of opening this market to our multi-generational dairy farm."

“This letter sends the right message to our trade negotiators. We need to prioritize positive trade outcomes for dairy as our industry is working hard to grow exports,” said Jeff Betley, a dairy producer in Pulaski, WI.

Attached is a copy of the letter sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative.