Debate Ignites Over Dairy Import Fees

US - A battle over whether to expand fees on dairy imports to help pay for promoting dairy products has broken out in Congress, as states not included in the current fee system fear inclusion would deal a devastating blow.
calendar icon 4 December 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
At the moment charges are levied on the 48 contiguous states and changes would mean Hawaii and Alaska would be brought on board.

The scheme pays for ventures such as the 3-a-day marketing campaign, which urges people to eat three dairy servings a day.

However, earlier this year an amendment to the 2007 farm bill in the House proposed the fee would be extended to all states to remove trade hurdles and pave the way for fees on imports.

For some groups, the bill has been seen as a perfect opportunity to reform out-dated regulations. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) said the bill: "Offers an unprecedented opportunity to usher in an era of modern dairy policies that will help the industry take advantage of growing markets in the US and the world while providing a sustainable financial safety net for dairy farms"

But criticism from senators in Hawaii and Alaska has come forward, urging this change to be taken out. They argue extension of the fees would hit home producers hard, and adding a fee to imported dairy was unfair.

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