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Vulnerable U.S. Dairy Industry Could Be Harmed By TPP Trade Deal

Aloise added the Teamsters would not support any trade deal that provides lesser protections to workers than to corporations.

Ben Burkett, a farmer and the president of the National Family Farm Coalition, explained why his group joined the call to Congress, "This letter elevates an issue so important to our dairy farmer members and to all consumers. The future of our nation's 60,000 dairy farmers is at stake."

"National Farmers Union supports trade agreements that benefit U.S. agriculture and promotes societal goals of healthy communities, feeding the poor, economic justice, human rights, and a sound environment. If those high standards are to be met in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Congress needs to weigh in on the terms of the agreement now, before the negotiations are concluded," said Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.

"It's especially important that Congress review the impact of the TPP on the U.S. dairy industry because the deal has been negotiated in complete secrecy," said James P. Hoffa, general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The letter was sent to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Ranking Member Collin Peterson of Minnesota; House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and Ranking Member Sander Levin, both of Michigan; Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Ranking Member Thad Cochran of Mississippi; and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Ranking Member Thad Cochran of Mississippi.

The letter was hand-delivered today to Capitol Hill by representatives of the ad-hoc national "fair trade" coalition, consisting of the Citizens Trade Campaign, Family Farm Defenders, Food & Water Watch, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fun, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, League of Rural Voters, the National Farmers Union, and Rural Coalition/Coalicion Rural.

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