A study released today by the U.S. Dairy Export Council projects new trade agreements between Japan and other countries will put U.S. dairy exports at a competitive disadvantage, resulting in lost U.S. sales of $5.4 billion over 21 years.
The Japanese dairy market, the fourth largest export destination for U.S. dairy exports, is expected to continue to grow in years to come. With a level playing field, the U.S. could roughly double its market share, according to the study conducted by Tokyo-based Meros Consulting.
However, without swift and effective action by the U.S. to secure a strong trade treaty with Japan that exceeds Japan’s agreements with Australia, New Zealand and the European Union, the U.S. could see its market share drop in half over the next decade.
Australia and New Zealand have the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in place with Japan already and as of this Friday, Europe’s agreement with Japan will take effect too. Without a strong U.S.-Japan trade treaty, competitors will seize a cumulative $1.3 billion in dairy sales over the next decade that would otherwise have been supplied from the U.S., a toll that climbs to $5.4 billion once CPTPP and the Japan-EU agreements are fully implemented.
“U.S. dairy farmers are facing economic hardships, and expanding opportunities overseas is the best way to counter that,” said National Milk Producers Federation President and CEO Jim Mulhern. “A trade deal with Japan that significantly expands dairy access would make 2019 a brighter year.”