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Dairy Facts 2016

Administration Advocates an Offensive Ag Trade Strategy: Seek New Markets in Asia Pacific

Oct 11, 2017
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue

Two influential agriculture voices in Washington, D.C., last week made it clear that the administrations’ growing trade team is focused on issues that matter to the dairy industry.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue stressed the importance of seeking new markets for agricultural trade in China, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in comments last week at the Washington International Trade Association. He stressed the need for U.S. agriculture to “generally strengthen our commercial ties in this key area of the world.”

Watch Secretary Perdue’s remarks on YouTube.

If confirmed as Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Gregg Doud last week said he would work to preserve existing trade agreements, starting first with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), where he said there are “opportunities we can do better with regards to dairy and Canada.” Doud shared the remarks in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee, where he also stressed the need for the United States to pursue bilateral trade deals in the Asia Pacific region.

Doud also added that the U.S. “has to play offense” in countries such as Japan and China. For agricultural products, he said “the southeast Asian part of the world is the best opportunity we have.”

Hear Doud’s comments on the Senate Committee on Finance website.

“It is encouraging to hear that the administration is prioritizing the current issues U.S. dairy faces in Canada and recognizing that gaining access to new markets now is critical for U.S. agriculture,” said Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO. “Modernizing NAFTA is a great start, but the industry also needs an ambitious U.S. trade agenda to provide opportunities for dairy products in emerging markets with increasing protein demands.”

In addition to the hearing held for Doud, the full Senate also last week confirmed Ted McKinney as the U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs.

IDFA looks forward to working with trade leaders in both the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the USDA on dairy industry priorities.

For more information, contact Dave Carlin, IDFA senior vice president of legislative affairs and economic policy, at

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