Agricultural industry representatives welcomed the Senate confirmation of the new chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
Gregg Doud was confirmed March 1.
Recent trade developments, including ongoing talks about the North American Free Trade Agreement and continuation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership without the U.S., have caused concern in the industry, said Derek Sandison, director of the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
“The appointment of a chief ag negotiator is a welcome sign that these key trade issues are going to be addressed and that the interests of the ag industry will be considered,” Sandison said in a statement to the Capital Press. “Given what is at play with the agreements, tariffs and other trade matters, it is important to expand the bandwidth of USTR in relation to agricultural trade and this appointment does that.”
The National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat Associates issued a joint press release welcoming Doud.
“We believe the confirmation of Gregg Doud will bring a needed agriculture voice to USTR’s political leadership,” stated Chandler Goule, CEO of NAWG. “NAWG congratulates Doud on his appointment and are looking forward to working with him and his team in the future.”
“We are pleased that Mr. Doud’s confirmation comes at a time when our organizations are actively engaged in discussions at home and overseas customers about trade policies that directly affect export demand,” Mike Miller, a Ritzville, Wash., wheat farmer and U.S. Wheat chairman, said. “We need his experience in the NAFTA renegotiation and to help prevent huge potential export losses under the new (TPP) that will be signed March 8 without the United States.”
Doud served as chief economist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for eight years. From 2011 to 2013, he was a senior aide to the Senate Agriculture Committee for Sens. Pat Roberts and Thad Cochran, assisting in drafting the 2014 Farm Bill. He is also a former market analyst at U.S. Wheat.
“Gregg Doud’s vast experience in the agriculture sector will serve him well as he works to expand export opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers,” said Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, in a press release.