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La Crosse, WI – On Dec. 1, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind and US Dairy Export Council president and CEO Tom Vilsack praised the announcement that China lowered the tariff rate on cheese imports from 12 percent to 8percent, effective, Dec.1.

“I am hopeful that today’s decision by China to give US dairy farmers a better price for selling their products will take us a step forward in leveling the playing field. However, we still have significant work to do to clear domestic expanded production by opening new markets in new countries to get Wisconsin dairy farmers a better price for their product here at home,” said Rep. Kind.

“China is tracking to become the world’s largest cheese importer in the years ahead. It is critical that the U.S. dairy industry take part in that growth,” says Tom Vilsack, president and CEO of the U.S. Dairy Export Council. “This decision by China will chip away at the tariff disadvantage U.S. suppliers face in China and improve U.S. competitiveness in a rapidly expanding market.”

To date, Wisconsin is the fourth largest exporter of cheese of all kinds to China, accounting for over $3.8 million in sales. Exports to China have risen 59%percent over the last year.

Rep. Kind has been working tirelessly to clear domestic expanded production and open new markets to get Wisconsin dairy farmers a better price for their product abroad and here at home. This action by China further illustrates the importance of the United States increasing access and opening new markets for our farmers, not putting market access at risk by withdrawing from NAFTA and other agreements.

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