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US International Trade Commission Investigating Milk Protein Product Markets

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has launched a general fact finding investigation regarding US market conditions for milk protein products, according to the ITC Website.

The investigation, "Condition of Competition for Milk Protein Products in the U. Market," was requested by the Senate Committee on Finance in a letter received in May. In the letter, the committee requested the study provide information on the competitiveness of a variety of milk proteins in the US market, focusing on milk protein concentrate, casein and caseinate and the market for those products compared with other milk proteins, including whole milk, skim milk, dried whole milk, dried skim milk, whey, dried whey and whey protein concentrates.

As requested, the ITC, an independent, nonpartisan, fact finding federal agency, will provide:

* An overview of the global market for milk proteins in their various forms, including such factors as consumption, production, and trade during the 1998-2002 periods;

* Profiles of the milk protein industries of the United States and major dairy exporting countries, and in particular, the industries of Australia, New Zealand and the European Union;

* Information on the overall level of government support and other government intervention affecting producers of milk proteins in the United States and in each of the above-referenced trading partners together with a discussion of competitive factors, including government policies, that impact US production, use and trade in milk protein products in their various forms;

* Information on US imports and exports of milk protein in its various forms with data broken down, to the extent possible, by protein content, end use and manufacturing processes;

* A history of US tariff classification of milk proteins and tariff treatment of these products, including any fees or quotas imposed under section 22 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act, tariff rate quotas established pursuant to the Uruguay Round Agreements, and US Customs Service classification decisions;

* A qualitative and, to the extent possible, quantitative assessment of how imported milk proteins affect farm level milk prices in the United States; and,

* Other information relating to competitive factors affecting the US industry that imports and consumes milk proteins, the US industry that supplies competitive products, and the competitive factors, including government policies, that impact potential US production of milk proteins in their various forms.

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