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Dairy Groups Support Trump Examination of India, Indonesia
USAgNet - 04/16/2018

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative accepted a petition from the National Milk Producers Federation and the U.S. Dairy Export Council to examine India's failure to follow through on its obligations to provide "equitable and reasonable access to its market" for dairy products. In addition, Indonesia, which has also been pursuing dairy trade distorting policies, will be included in USTR's review to assess that country's compliance with its market access obligations.

India has for many years maintained unjustified market access barriers to U.S. dairy products, despite receiving preferential access to the U.S. market under a special duty-free trade arrangement called the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). India abruptly began denying dairy exports in 2003, citing safety concerns and demanding revised government-issued health certificates. The U.S. industry and U.S. government have worked in good faith over the last 15 years to remove this intractable barrier, but have been met with a shifting litany of demands not founded on sound science.

Meanwhile, since last year Indonesia has been advancing a policy aimed at mandating that importers and manufacturers in its country purchase local milk or contribute monetarily to support the local dairy industry, even though this runs counter to its WTO commitments.

GSP benefits come with the expectation that the trading partners using the program comply with a baseline level of requirements, including those related to reasonable market access terms. USTR has rightfully determined that a thorough examination of these countries' adherence to these terms of the deal is necessary.

Industry officials praised USTR's decision to review India's and Indonesia's GSP status, and are hopeful that the move will force the countries to halt unfair trading practices that harm U.S. farmers.

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