IDFA applauded Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) for releasing his hold on the nomination of Gregg Doud as the chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
“We need a strong voice for agriculture and hope the Senate will move forward on his confirmation quickly,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “Preserving the dairy export market in Mexico, gaining greater market access in Canada and initiating bilateral trade agreements with markets in the Asia-Pacific region are critically important to the continued growth of the U.S. dairy industry.”
Flake began the delay last November over proposed administration changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that could have a negative impact on some U.S. produce growers. He removed the hold after Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and USTR assured him that his concerns would be addressed.
Doud’s nomination will now move to the full Senate for approval. A date for the confirmation vote has not been announced.
Read Dykes’ statement here.
Fill Key USTR Positions
IDFA is a member of the U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade, a coalition of trade associations, business organizations and companies that support increased market access for U.S. agricultural and food exports around the world. Last week, IDFA and 77 other members of the coalition sent a letter to all senators, calling for the confirmation of Doud and two additional nominees for key trade positions within USTR.
Dennis Shea has been nominated to the position of deputy USTR for Geneva, and C.J. Mahoney has been nominated to fill the spot of deputy USTR for investment, services, labor, environment, Africa, China and the Western Hemisphere.
“From modernizing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA) to engaging at the World Trade Organization (WTO),” the coalition said in its letter, “strong performers in all of the key trade positions are critical to advancing America’s economic interests.”
Read the letter here.
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at email@example.com.