WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has issued the U.S. Dairy Trade Principles on Environmental Sustainability, which the organization says is a critical and proactive step as the global community rallies around climate change and initiatives begin to impact international trade.
IDFA, which represents more than 3 million U.S. jobs in small-, medium- and large-sized dairy manufacturing and retail companies, urged the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Agriculture to use these trade principles to ensure the U.S. dairy industry is represented in the Biden administration’s sustainability-focused trade agenda.
IDFA said members are already making significant progress towards achieving measurable, science-based environmental sustainability outcomes that benefit consumers and the planet. These principles, it said, support that progress and the industry’s trade interests by establishing a set of obligations for U.S. trading partners. This policy blueprint urges alignment of the environmental sustainability requirements with existing World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations and that they follow the most advanced science and promote innovation.
“IDFA and its members share the objectives of the Biden administration and the global community that the environmentally sustainable production and consumption of dairy products is a priority,” said Michael Dykes, IDFA president and CEO. “We call on the U.S. government to proactively establish these guidelines to ensure market access is protected and to make certain that the U.S. is competing on equal footing. U.S. leadership is critical on these issues, and IDFA calls on the Biden administration to pursue trade policy in a manner that gives U.S. dairy’s sustainability efforts fair weight at the negotiating table.”
“President Biden and Ambassador Tai have made it clear in their agendas published to date that sustainability is and will increasingly be an area of policy focus, particularly in the context of trade. Since it is uncommon for experts in our industry to be specialized in both trade and sustainability, we wanted to proactively help connect those two sides of our industry for our government colleagues,” said Becky Rasdall, IDFA vice president, trade policy and international affairs. “We recognized an immediate need to put the industry’s strong efforts on sustainability into the language of our government’s trade negotiators and have worked with our members to develop these 13 principles. We believe they will position our negotiators for success by prioritizing the kinds of trade policies that will build upon U.S. dairy’s existing sustainability initiatives.”
IDFA’s U.S. Dairy Trade Principles on Environmental Sustainability include:
1. Review Prior to Regulating
2. No Prohibition of Goods
3. Measures Based on Actual Performance
4. Non-Discriminatory, Non-Trade Restrictive Measures
5. Limitations on Taxation and Tariffs
6. Voluntary Measures Related to Consumer Information
7. Use of International Standards and Metrics
8. Outcome-Based, Not Prescribed
9. Science and Risk-Based
10. Ensure Continued Innovation
11. Take Regional Conditions into Account
12. Sectoral Appropriateness and Flexibilities
13. Promulgation through Good Regulatory Practices