Tom Suber

Biography

Tom started in the dairy industry in 1990 setting up National Dairy Board’s export program. He was hired to run the Export Council when Dairy Management, Inc. created it in 1995. Tom directs Council programs to build global markets for U.S. ingredients and dairy products. Besides the head office in Arlington, Virginia, USDEC has eleven representative offices worldwide. Tom serves on a government trade advisory committee (Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee) and is vice-chair of the Food & Agricultural Export Alliance. Tom has Masters degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Bachelor’s in history/Asian studies from Colorado State University.

 

Abstract

Tom Suber, President of the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC), will present the U.S. dairy industry’s views on trade policy developments and key factors of relevance for global trade agreements moving forward. USDEC is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products.

Suber will discuss the growing U.S. reliance on exports, driven not from policy pushes such as export subsidies but instead by its increasing global competitiveness and the more focused efforts of its suppliers. This trend has led the U.S. to become the largest exporter in a number of key dairy categories.

For almost two decades now the U.S. dairy industry has supported ambitious U.S. trade agreements, while stressing the importance of getting the details right. Trade agreements offer the opportunity to create win-win results for the countries involved, more effectively expanding markets for U.S. suppliers and helping to stimulate greater dairy demand among the world’s consumers.

Along that road, however, nontariff barriers (NTBs) have loomed as an increasingly prominent factor in a number of leading markets. Past trade agreements have yielded mixed results in addressing various forms of NTBs such as unscientific or overly onerous import requirements, policies directly designed to discourage imports or the misuse of broader policy tools such as geographical indications to constrict competition. Moving forward, trade deals need to address these types of unwarranted policy barriers and be structured based on an up-to-date picture of global trade, not one built on dairy trade as it existed 2 decades ago.


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