Doud confirmed as chief agricultural negotiator for USTR

by Holly Demaree-Saddler
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North America
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — U.S. President Donald Trump’s, nomination, Gregg Doud, for chief agricultural negotiator for USTR was unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate.

Chief Agricultural Negotiator of the USTR Gregg Doud
Gregg Doud, chief agricultural negotiator for USTR

Doud joined the Commodity Markets Council (CMC) in May 2013 as president, after spending two years as a senior professional staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Pat Roberts and most recently Senator Thad Cochran.  Doud was part of the team that crafted the 2012 Senate Farm Bill and his portfolio of issues included livestock, international trade, food aid and oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Prior to joining the Senate Agriculture Committee staff, Doud spent eight years as the chief economist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in Washington, D.C. At NCBA, Doud chaired the USDA/USTR Animal/Animal Products Agricultural Trade Advisory Committee and served as a member of the CFTC’s agricultural advisory committee.

He also has worked for the U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) and the agricultural commodity consulting firm World Perspectives. Doud graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor of science in animal science and an masters of science in agricultural economics.

The confirmation has been supported by several ag organizations.

Joel Newman AFIA
Joel G. Newman, president and chief executive officer

“The need for continued and expanded market access into growing areas of the world is critical for the long-term success of the U.S. animal food manufacturing industry,” said Joel G. Newman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA. “Doud has a strong background in agriculture, and we look forward to working with him on representing the industry’s interests in the ongoing discussions on the North American Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement.”

 According to the AFIA, the U.S. animal food manufacturing industry relies heavily on trade. Exports support thousands of jobs across the feed industry and associated industries.

“In the case of NAFTA, specifically, U.S. animal food exports to Canada and Mexico have almost tripled since its implementation, from just over $500 million in 1994 to $3 billion in 2016,” the AFIA said. “Much of this success stems from the tariff-free access the United States has with the two countries. Without NAFTA, tariffs on exports to Mexico, and likely Canada, would revert to WTO rules, meaning several feed products would no longer enjoy zero tariffs. Withdrawal from this agreement with the United States’ two most valuable trade partners would be devastating for the U.S. feed industry and American agriculture.”

USW and the National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) spoke about how the nomination is welcome news for wheat growers.

“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.”

Mike Miller, USW Associates chairman, said the confirmation comes at an important time of trade considerations and Doud’s experience is needed.

“We are pleased that Doud’s confirmation comes at a time when our organizations are actively engaged in discussions at home and with overseas customers about trade policies that directly affect export demand,” Miller said. “We need his experience in the NAFTA renegotiation and to help prevent huge potential export losses under the new Trans-Pacific Partnership that will be signed March 8 without the United States.”