This Week's Top Story

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This Week's Other Stories:

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Future Looking Bright For Butter

OTHER NEWS: Senate OKs Trade Promo Authority Bill, Key Step In Negotiating TPP

OTHER NEWS: Long Demonized For Its Fat And Salt Content, Cheese Re-Emerges As Health Food: Report

GUEST COLUMNIST:  
All That Glitters: Social Media
Marketing Frenzy by Dan Strongin

COMPANY PROFILE:  
After Finding Success In Minnesota, Alemar Cheese Looking To Open California Plant

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Senate OKs Trade Promo Authority Bill, Key Step In Negotiating TPP

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Could Be Finished By Fall; New Zealand Seeks Good Deal On Dairy

Washington—The US Senate on Wednesday approved, on a 60-38 vote, Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation.

The bipartisan legislation “empowers Congress with a strong voice in international trade negotiations, maximizes dialogue among stakeholders, and helps secure high-standard trade pacts that will benefit American workers and job creators,” said US Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Senate Finance Committee chairman. “With Trade Promotion Authority back in our trade arsenal, we can continue as the premier leader on global trade and open more international markets for American farmers, ranchers, and businesses.”

Under the legislation, which is expected to be signed in the near future by President Obama, the principal negotiating objective of the US with respect to agriculture is to obtain competitive opportunities for US exports of agricultural commodities in foreign markets substantially equivalent to the competitive opportunities afforded foreign exports in US markets and to achieve fairer and more open conditions of trade in bulk, specialty crop, and value added commodities by, among other things:
—securing more open and equitable market access through robust rules on sanitary and phytosanitary measures that: encourage the adoption of international standards and require a science-based justification be provided for a sanitary measure if the measure is more restrictive than the applicable international standard; improve regulatory coherence, promote the use of systems-based approaches, and appropriately recognize the equivalence of health and safety protection systems of exporting countries; and improve import check processes;

—reducing or eliminating tariffs or other charges that reduce market opportunities for US exports, giving priority to those products that are subject to significantly higher tariffs or subsidy regimes of major producing countries, and providing reasonable adjustment periods for US import sensitive products;

—reducing tariffs to levels that are the same as or lower than those in the US;

—reducing or eliminating subsidies that reduce market opportunities for US exports or unfairly distort agriculture markets to the detriment of the US;

—allowing the preservation of programs that support family farms and rural communities but do not distort trade;

—developing, strengthening and clarifying rules to eliminate practices that unfairly reduce US market access opportunities or distort agricultural markets to the detriment of the US, and ensuring that such rules are subject to efficient, timely, and effective dispute settlement;

—maintaining bona fide food assistance programs, market development programs, and export credit programs;

—ensuring transparency in tariff rate quota administration; and

—eliminating and preventing the undermining of market access


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