Nearly 90 food and agriculture trade associations and companies working through the broad-based U.S. Food and Agriculture Dialogue for Trade last month urged the Senate to vote quickly to confirm Gregg Doud as Chief Agricultural Negotiator with the rank of Ambassador in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). In a letter to senators, the group said action on Doud’s confirmation is imperative to ensure that U.S. trade policy works in the interest of the food and agriculture industry, especially as the administration and Congress look to begin work in August to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
IDFA is a member of the Dialogue for Trade, which sent the letter following the announcement of Doud’s nomination. With little time left before Congress starts a recess next month, the Senate must act quickly to avoid having a vacant agricultural seat at the table during the first NAFTA talks.
As Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Doud would be responsible for leading trade negotiations on behalf of the U.S. agriculture and food industry. The industry’s exports currently support more than 15 million jobs nationwide and have produced a trade surplus for the country for nearly 50 years, the groups noted, and this productivity is now growing faster than domestic demand.
To build on and improve these gains under NAFTA, the groups emphasized the urgent need for a chief agricultural negotiator who will work to "preserve what has worked well by building forward from the base of existing market access and tariff provisions,” as the U.S. looks to strengthen its competitiveness in the global market.
Read the letter here.
IDFA CEO: “I can’t think of a better person than Gregg Doud”
In a statement welcoming Doud’s nomination earlier this month, Michael Dykes, D.V.M., president and CEO of IDFA, said, “Ambassador Lighthizer has pledged that agriculture ‘will be front and center’ in any trade deal the U.S. negotiates, including the North American Free Trade Agreement. I can’t think of a better person than Gregg Doud to be on those front lines. I have worked with Gregg on the Ag Roundtable, when he served as a senior staffer for Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and as a staffer with the Senate Agriculture Committee under chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS), and know that he will work both with us and for us.”
For more information, contact Beth Hughes, IDFA director of international affairs, at email@example.com.