Dairy Export Council CEO on why he's optimistic for the new year.
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U.S. Dairy Export Council CEO and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack joined FOX Business’ “The Claman Countdown” on Thursday to discuss how U.S. trade deals are affecting the dairy industry.

He spoke optimistically about which economic aspects will make 2020 different from the past couple of years, which he admitted were difficult for the industry.

1) China trade deal

“There isn’t any specific commitment to purchase dairy, but it does provide for an easier pathway for infant formula and potentially whey permeate — two important products that we produce here in the U.S. — to be able to enter a market that’s been shut down for some time,” Vilsack told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster.


“We’ve got the USMCA ratification and hopefully opening up of the Canadian market and the elimination of Class 7,” Vilsack said, referencing a new pricing class of milk that some say has given Canadian dairy producers the advantage.

3) Japan trade deal

“We’ve got the Japanese phase one agreement that has ended the tariff differential [and] the disadvantage we had when we pulled out of TPP relative to EU [and] New Zealand,” he said.

These are “positive, hopeful things that we believe will help in 2020 to increase exports,” Vilsack said.

The delay in details being issued on the proposed dairy reduction scheme is “playing with the futures” of farm families, according to the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers’ Association (ICMSA).

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