National Checkoff Dollars at Work:
US Dairy Export Council
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a national non-profit founded in 1995 and funded in part by farmer checkoff dollars. USDEC is dedicated to ensuring the health and vitality of the U.S. dairy industry through exports. It works for farmers to increase international demand for U.S. dairy products and ingredients by working with suppliers, members, government agencies, and other partners to meet market needs and facilitate sales.

Today, approximately 15 percent of all milk produced by U.S. dairy cows is exported. This is a huge leap from when USDEC was created in 1995, and only 2 percent of all dairy products were exported.

Through USDEC's work, the U.S. dairy export market has expanded from $1 billion in 2000 to $5.6 billion 2018. Ninety-five percent of the world's consumers are outside of the U.S., so there is room for further growth.
Improving the Future of Exports
Through Trade Policies
USDEC has launched The Next 5% initiative to increase dairy exports to 20 percent, building and improving the international market for U.S. milk.

Through additional funding from membership dues, USDEC lobbies on behalf of trade policies that benefit dairy farmers.

CEO and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has worked closely with the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) to support the passage of the
United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). It has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is pending a vote in the U.S. Senate this week.

USMCA is an improved trade deal that will strengthen our relationships with both Mexico and Canada, expand trade opportunities, and secure both countries as critical partners and markets for U.S. milk.

In addition, a Phase One trade agreement with China was signed today which will make important advances on regulatory restrictions and other nontariff issues harming U.S. dairy trade. 

"These are important deliverables that USDEC has been pressing China for over the course of the last few years," said Vilsack. "We need to continue to work with our government, China's government and our customers to finish the job by lifting the remaining Chinese retaliatory tariffs against our exports."

A Year in Review for USDEC
A Year in Review for USDEC
Despite the challenges in the 2019 international trade market, USDEC had a hand in a number of victories that helped defend and grow U.S. dairy sales around the world.
  • Held two technical seminars for Chinese hog producers on how U.S. dairy permeate can help them rebuild herds decimated by African swine fever; workshop resulted in sales of more than 7,000 tons of permeate to China

  • Collaborated with USDA to develop a business roundtable with Indonesian dairy importers as they look to diversify their dairy imports away from the E.U; since the roundtable in late October 2019, U.S. skim milk powder exports to Indonesia have increased by 65 percent, and overall dairy exports have increased by 49 percent

  • Supported by membership dues, USDEC staff provided ongoing support to U.S. trade negotiations with Japan; Phase 1 of the U.S.-Japan trade agreement went into effect on January 1, 2020, and levels the playing field for the U.S. to compete more fairly in the Japanese market

  • USDEC conducted a month-long marketing event in Singapore to solidify the U.S. as a preferred cheese supplier among key thought leaders; cheese sales to Singapore grew 36 percent in the first ten months of 2019

  • Partnered with international standards-setting organizations including CODEZ and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and represented U.S. dairy interests while influencing world trade rules
A Year in Review for USDEC
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