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Cheese Importers Declare the Dairy Import Assessment an Unfair Tax on Importers That Delivers No Benefits and Unnecessarily Jeopardizes U.S. Dairy Exports

The Cheese Importers Association of America (CIAA) expressed its strong opposition to the Bush Administation's proposed Dairy Import Assessment as part of the 2007 Farm Bill.

"The Dairy Import Assessment would impose an onerous tax on the small businesses that import the high-quality cheese products that U.S. consumers demand. These funds would then be turned over to support a promotion program operated and controlled by dairy farmers and exporters, from which we would see no benefits", said CIAA President Daniel Lynch, Cheif Executive Officer of Jana Foods, LLC in Secaucus, New Jersey.

"With dairy exports having doubled in the last five years and with our trade representatives seeking lower global barriers to agricultural trade, this is precisely the wrong moment to erect yet another unilateral barrier to imported dairy products", Lynch continued.

This week the CIAA is delivering letters signed by a broad cross-section of its members to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN), House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) expressing their strong opposition to the proposed tax and its inclusion in the Farm Bill.