February 23, 2005

Crapo Calls For Investigation of Milk Imports

Urges International Trade Commission look into milk protein imports

Washington, DC - Increased imports of milk proteins are having a dramatic impact on the domestic market place and many dairy producers argue the imports are putting them out of business. Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today asked for a trade investigation of such imports to root out circumvention or other unfair trade practices that may be damaging to U.S. dairy producers.Crapo wrote the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, seeking an International Trade Commission investigation of the situation. Crapo says an objective investigation of how dairy imports are being used, and the potential for unfair trade conditions, warrant such a request. His letter went to Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa, a Republican colleague on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930 authorizes the chairman of the Finance Committee to request the ITC conduct general investigations on any matter involving tariffs and international trade, including conditions of competition between U.S. and foreign industries.Of particular interest to Crapo is the import of milk protein concentrate (MPC), which could be used to circumvent restrictions on nonfat dry milk. Crapo said an objective investigation would have the support of both dairy producers and milk processors. â??I share the concerns dairy producers in my state have raised about the impact of imports on farm milk prices,â?? Crapo wrote to Grassley. â??A comprehensive, objective investigation of imports, their end-use, and competition factors would provide a strong basis for any congressional action.â??A copy of the letter Crapo wrote Grassley is enclosed.. # # # April 2, 2003The Honorable Charles E. GrassleyChairmanCommittee on FinanceUnited States SenateWashington, D. C. 20510Dear Mr. Chairman:With dairy prices at unsustainably-low levels and increased imports of milk protein concentrates, casein, and caseinates, I write to urge that the Senate Finance Committee request an International Trade Commission (ITC) investigation into the conditions surrounding the import of milk proteins.I share the concerns dairy producers in my state have raised about the impact of imports on farm milk prices. A comprehensive, objective investigation of imports, their end-use, and competition factors would provide a strong basis for any congressional action. As such, I ask you to use your authority under section 332 of the Tariff Act of 1930 to request the ITC conduct general investigations on any matter involving tariffs and international trade, including conditions of competition between US and foreign industries. I appreciate your strong support for American agriculture, especially your tireless efforts to increase opportunities to expand foreign markets. As we examine difficulties in the domestic dairy market, I hope we do not lose sight of the objective of increased agricultural trade and undermine the hard work and investment we have committed to those goals-which is particularly important for Idaho agriculture. A rigorous section 332 investigation of the imports will help us preserve that objective.Sincerely,Mike CrapoUnited States Senator