Peggy Armstrong (202) 220-3508

Cites need for agriculture to have a strong voice in trade negotiations

(Washington, D.C. – February 1, 2018) The International Dairy Foods Association released the following statement by Michael Dykes, D.V.M., IDFA president and CEO, regarding U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Ariz.) decision to release his hold on the nomination of Chief Agricultural Negotiator nominee Gregg Doud.

“We are pleased that Sen. Flake has released his hold on the nomination of Gregg Doud as the chief agricultural negotiator of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

“This position, which holds the rank of ambassador, was created by Congress in 1997 to ensure that U.S. agriculture is fully represented in trade negotiations at the highest level. I have worked with Doud on the Ag Roundtable, when he served as a senior staffer for Sen. Thad Cochran (R- Miss.) and as a staffer with the Senate Agriculture Committee under Chairman Pat Roberts (R- Kan.). I know that he has the experience and expertise to represent America’s agricultural interests.

“We need a strong voice for agriculture and hope the Senate will move forward on his confirmation quickly.

“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.”

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The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which employs nearly 1 million skilled individuals, generates more than $39 billion in direct wages and has an overall economic impact of more than $200 billion. IDFA is the umbrella organization for the Milk Industry Foundation (MIF), the National Cheese Institute (NCI) and the International Ice Cream Association (IICA).

Our members range from large multinational organizations to single-plant companies. Together they represent more than 85 percent of the milk, cultured products, cheese, ice cream and frozen desserts produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Our diverse membership includes numerous food retailers, suppliers and companies that offer infant formula and a wide variety of milk ingredients.