ARLINGTON, VA – The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) today urged the U.S. Senate to swiftly approve Gregg Doud as chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Doud’s confirmation process was halted last year after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) placed a hold on his nomination. With Flake’s hold now lifted, USDEC President and CEO Tom Vilsack and NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern are asking the Senate to move quickly to confirm Doud, particularly given the breadth of trade issues in which the USTR is engaged.
“The U.S. dairy industry welcomes this news, and looks forward to working closely with Doud as the new U.S. ag chief negotiator,” said Vilsack. “The role of the agriculture ambassador within the USTR is critical to successful U.S. engagement with current negotiations and growing global markets.”
America’s dairy farmers depend on carefully calibrated trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the U.S.-Korea free trade agreement (KORUS),” Mulhern said. “We need a strong advocate for agriculture in the USTR during this crucial period.”
U.S. dairy exports support millions of jobs, from farmers and processors to distribution and shipping businesses in every U.S. state. During the last several years, exports have become extremely important to the industry. The United States has gone from exporting less than $1 billion in 2000 to exporting more than$7 billion in 2014, before a dip in prices dropped exports to $5 billion in 2016.