U.S. Representative Collin Peterson, D-Minnesota, chairman of the House agriculture committee, expressed his appreciation for Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's decision to use the Dairy Export Incentive Program to help dairy farmers who are suffering from record low prices nationwide.
Peterson encouraged the administration to take this action to provide relief to dairy farmers.
"I want to thank USDA Secretary Vilsack for supporting U.S. dairy farmers by using the Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP)," Peterson said. "Dairy farmers across the country are struggling to survive because of low prices and too much product on the market, and DEIP is an important tool that we can use to manage surplus and support produc-ers."
Peterson and a bipartisan group of members on the agriculture committee wrote to encourage Secretary Vilsack to use DEIP and other programs to help struggling dairy farmers. Peterson also discussed the issue during regular conversations with Secretary Vilsack.
The DEIP provides incentive payments to U.S. dairy exporters to counter foreign dairy subsidies and to develop markets for U.S. dairy products abroad. Use of the program is consistent with existing U.S. commitments under the WTO Uruguay Round Agreement.
It is one tool that U.S. policy makers can use to support U.S. dairy producers during difficult economic times, Peterson noted.