The U.S. Trade Representative’s new chief agricultural negotiator opened his doors on Friday to major agriculture industry groups.
Greg Doud invited them in for meetings to discuss priorities and concerns about the North American Free Trade Talks and other trade negotiations. Farm groups representing commodity producers and agricultural processing associations likely expressed a lot of fears that tariffs against China and other countries will only invite punishing retaliation that would seriously hurt U.S. exporters.
Doud met with commodity groups in one meeting and agricultural processors in the other. An industry observer told Politico that, “If I were Greg (Doud), I would certainly want to say I’d given all those groups an opportunity to air their concerns and hear directly from him before he was put into the mix of having to make some pretty important decisions.” Politico says frustrations are running both ways.
The ag industry’s public campaign against President Trump’s trade decisions has frustrated U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who says he’s “tired of it.” He adds that the industry efforts have been “unhelpful to the administration’s trade agenda,” sources told Politico.