Dairy Industry Endorses Bipartisan, Bicameral Tariff Bill

“The International Dairy Foods Association supports the Trade Security Act, sponsored by Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN), and Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Doug Jones (D-AL). This bill would reform Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 by requiring the Department of Defense to justify the national security basis for new tariffs under Section 232 and expand the role of Congress throughout the process.

“Due to the Section 232 tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from Mexico and Canada, Mexico retaliated by imposing a 25 percent tariff on American cheese. Mexico is our number one market for cheese valued at close to $400 million in 2017. Between July and December 2018, volume sales of U.S. cheese to Mexico declined 4% and the value of U.S. cheese exports declined 8% due to these tariffs. U.S. dairy’s access to the Mexican market remains at serious risk.

“We’re concerned that any future tariffs would result in further retaliation against the U.S. dairy industry. This new Trade Security Act would apply only to future Section 232 investigations and provide Congress with greater oversight of the Section 232 process which could avert additional unnecessary harm to the U.S. economy. We urge all Members of Congress to support the Trade Security Act.”

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports nearly 3 million jobs that generate more than $161 billion in wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $628 billion. IDFA members range from multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent approximately 90 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. The diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers, cooperatives and companies that offer a wide variety of nutritional dairy products and dairy-derived ingredients.