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US, Mexican Dairy Groups Agree To Push To Include Canada’s Dairy Trade In NAFTA

US and Mexican dairy organizations on Monday released a unified list of priorities that includes modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to solidify their dairy market partnership, and addressing concerns about Canadian and European Union (EU) dairy policies.

A list of nine shared priorities was agreed upon last week at a second annual summit in Guadalajara, Mexico, between leaders of the two countries’ dairy industries, collectively called the United States-Mexico Dairy Alliance.

The US dairy industry was represented by the US Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF). Mexican dairy producer organizations included the Confederacion Nactional de Organizacioines Ganaderas, Gremio de Productores Lechero de la Republica Mexicana, and the Asociacion Nactional de Ganaderos Lecheros, along with Mexican processor organization Camara Nactional de Industriales de la Leche.

The nine shared priorities agreed upon by the two countries include:
• Support efforts to modernize NAFTA in recognition of the benefits it has generated for both countries, and seek avenues to improve commercial trade that currently exists among the three countries by ensuring the free flow of dairy products and eliminating any possible trade barriers.

• Commit to working jointly to preserve existing market access opportunities between the US and Mexico, and improve them where possible to benefit both milk sectors.

• Strongly urge the US and Mexican governments to seek the full inclusion of Canada’s dairy trade provisions within NAFTA, and express to those governments concerns regarding Canada’s new milk pricing scheme, which could significantly harm milk producers and dairy processors in both the US and Mexico.

• Agree to continue working to defend generic “common” food names, especially with regard to bilateral trade agreements of both countries with the EU. In conjunction with the pertinent authorities, the dairy organizations will work together to defend common food names in legal texts regarding geographical indications (GIs) in order to safeguard at all times the free production and marketing of products that are listed under said category.

•Establish a working group to analyze the implementation of the US Grade A milk standard with the goal of developing a course of action to ensure that existing regulations are applied uniformly to the industries of both countries. It was also agreed to draft a joint letter directed to the regulatory agencies regarding this subject. The US group offered to collaborate in technical assistance to

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