graph by NMPF (click to enlarge)
National Milk Producers Federation has a vested interest in portraying the current dairy crisis are simply an over-supply problem. After all they have the "solution" by means of their CWT program.
So, in the testimony on behalf of NMPF we have the above graph and the statement:
Some have claimed that the problems we face are a result of a surge in unrestricted imports, particularly Milk Protein Concentrates (MPCs) and casein products, two tariff loop-hole avenues that importers have made strong use of in recent years. NMPF has long called for establishing tariff-rate quotas on MPC and casein, in keeping with our WTO rights and obligations. However, it is important to set the record straight regarding the cause of the problem we are now facing in order to develop the best response tools to address it in both the short and long term.
To do our part to address the immediate crisis facing the industry, the National Milk Producers Federation, through its CWT program, has been attacking the supply-demand imbalance directly at its roots, by removing dairy cows from the national herd. Dairy producers have spent $115 million of their own hard-earned money this year on our most recent herd retirement program, the largest one in CWT’s history, and are prepared to spend up to $160 million more in subsequent rounds of our program in the near future.
NMPF graph seems to have no source but, if they had looked at a USDA report, they would have learned that USDA estimated MPCs and casein imports in the first eight months of 2003 to be equal to 5.9% of domestic milk supply.
The CWT program is a money maker for NMPF. For the first four months of 2009 NMPF's CWT program lists $1,066,000 as administration costs. Amazing.