A report from CoBank shows animal agriculture needs trade negotiators at the table to build export markets.
The report says the recent nomination of a chief agriculture negotiator with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is an important step forward. However, Elaine Trevino has yet to be confirmed by the Senate.
U.S. animal protein exports have grown from $7.4 billion to $20.7 billion in the past two decades, driven by industry marketing and government trade negotiations. Today, trade accounts for 10-30 percent of U.S. animal protein production, depending on the industry segment.
The Trump administration’s harder line on trade, continued by the current administration, has led to mixed results for U.S. agriculture. Ag exports to China have flourished under the Phase One agreement, but the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership cost U.S. exporters some opportunities.
The report adds diversification of markets and products is vital for a vibrant U.S. protein export trade. Successful trade also depends on maintaining commitments with long-established partners, as seen with Mexico, Canada, Japan, and others.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)