Welch introduces bill to protect dairy farmers by closing trade loophole

first_imgCongressman Peter Welch on Tuesday introduced legislation to protect dairy farmers by closing a trade loophole that allows for the unlimited importation of a form of dried milk product. Welch s bill, the Milk Import Tariff Equity Act, will update existing trade regulations to include milk protein concentrate (MPC) and treat it like all other imported dairy products. In the past decade, MPC imports have more than doubled, undermining the market for domestic powdered milk and driving down the price Vermont s dairy farmers are paid for their milk. As international dairy producers have flooded the American market with milk protein concentrate, Vermont s dairy farmers have paid the price. By circumventing trade agreements, these producers have contributed to the plummeting price of milk and caused many Vermont farmers to go out of business, Welch said. This legislation will simply level the playing field and ensure that all dairy producers play by the same rules.Milk protein concentrate, similar to non-fat dried milk, is used in a variety of processed food products. In the past ten years, MPC imports have increased 58 percent. A 2004 International Trade Commission report found that, imported milk protein products may have displaced approximately 318 million pounds of U.S. produced milk protein [equivalent to 883 million pounds of non-fat dried milk] between 1998 and 2002.Because the technology used to produce MPCs was relatively new at the time, regulations approved during the 1995 Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations neglected to include MPCs. In the years since, foreign producers have taken advantage of this oversight and increased exports at a rate higher than is allowed for other dairy products.The Milk Import Tariff Equity Act would simply close this loophole and ensure that milk protein concentrates are regulated at the same level as other dairy products.Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate earlier this year by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY).Source: Welch’s office. 9.29.2009last_img read more

Meijer announces changes to their store hours

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisALPENA, Mich. — In an announcement today, Meijer said that they’ll be switching up their store hours. Starting on Friday, they will close at 10 p.m. and open at 8 a.m. The gas station will also close at 10 p.m. but pay at the pump will still be accepted.Meijer stores and pharmacies will be providing designated shopping hours for seniors and those with chronic health conditions from 7 to 8 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These changes are being made in response to the Coronavirus.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: MeijerContinue ReadingPrevious ACC closes buildings in Alpena and OscodaNext Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan climbs to 334last_img read more