IDFA joined food and agriculture groups last week in supporting the swift confirmation of Robert Lighthizer for the post of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). In a letter sent to the office of the USTR and the Senate committees on finance and agriculture, the groups stressed the importance of completing the administration’s trade team in time for upcoming trade decisions.
The letter was sent by the North America Food and Agriculture Trade Coalition, and included the signatures of more than 100 groups representing approximately 15 million jobs.
Once confirmed, Lighthizer will be responsible for leading trade negotiations along with President Trump’s other top trade officials, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Peter Navarro, director of the White House’s National Trade Council. The first major task for the three main players on trade is expected to be the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). IDFA and the North America Food and Agriculture Trade Coalition want to ensure that the USTR is fully staffed before any negotiations begin.
IDFA is committed to working with the Trump administration and USTR on any renegotiation of NAFTA. With Mexico, IDFA’s main objective is to protect current market access and preserve the excellent existing trade relationship, because nearly a quarter of U.S. dairy exports go to Mexico and can directly be tied to over 30,000 American jobs. The second priority will be to obtain fair market access for U.S. dairy exports to Canada. IDFA will also work to secure protection for common food names and improved provisions on sanitary and phytosanitary measures.
Read the letter here.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.