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.
The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), based in Arlington, Va., develops and carries out policies that advance the well-being of U.S. dairy producers and the cooperatives they collectively own. The members of NMPF's cooperatives produce the majority of the U.S, milk supply, making NMPF the voice of dairy producers on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more on NMPF's activities, visit www.nmpf.org.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products. USDEC accomplishes this through programs in market development that build global demand for U.S. dairy products, resolve market access barriers and advance industry trade policy goals. USDEC is supported by staff across the United States and overseas in Mexico, South America, Asia, Middle East and Europe.