Among the many notable accomplishments of 2013, USDEC cites five underlying efforts that illustrate the prominent strategic position overseas markets now hold in the U.S. dairy industry:
• U.S. dairy suppliers continued their push to broaden their portfolios to include products in high demand overseas, such as high-specification SMP, whole milk powder, milk protein concentrate and ultra-high temperature, shelf-stable milk.
• USDEC marketing activities drove demand and preference for U.S. dairy products, positioning the United States as a preferred and reliable supplier.
• The United States continued its working relationship with Chinese regulatory authorities, facilitating continued access to the world's largest dairy importer. USDEC assistance to aid compliance of U.S. suppliers with new Chinese regulatory procedures, as well as broader global efforts to clarify certification and inspection requirements, and labeling and product standards, helped keep trade flowing.
• U.S. negotiators made substantial progress toward completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement. USDEC has worked since the start of talks to make certain that TPP provides new access to open major new markets like Canada, Japan and Vietnam to U.S. dairy suppliers as well as establish an enforceable system of sanitary and phytosanitary measures to reduce non-tariff barriers to trade. Progress in 2013 suggests a final deal may be struck as soon as the first quarter of 2014.
• The U.S. dairy industry, through efforts of the checkoff-funded Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, launched a voluntary enhanced product traceability program to boost competitiveness in meeting needs of global buyers and proactively address U.S. governmental moves toward ever-stricter food safety regulations.