The U.S. Senate confirmed three key officials in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTF) – Gregg Doud as USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Dennis Shea as Deputy USTR (Geneva), and C. J. Mahoney as Deputy USTR (Investment, Services, Labor, Environment, Africa, China, and the Western Hemisphere).
Earlier this year, the National Cotton Council (NCC) signed onto a letter with other commodity organizations and agri-business companies, urging prompt confirmation of these nominees. The letter noted that:
- S. food and agricultural exports have produced a trade surplus for nearly 50 years;
- Consistent growth over this period has resulted in more than $152 billion worth of exports, creating more than $193 billion in additional U.S. economic activity in 2016; and
- These growing exports are vital to the U.S. economy, supporting more than 43 million jobs from coast-to-coast.
“We are gratified to have these strong performers in key trade positions,” said NCC Chairman Ron Craft. “For decades, the U.S. cotton industry has supplied our global customers quality fiber and textiles with unmatched timeliness. Our nation must continue negotiating favorable trade agreements, because opening, developing and maintaining robust export markets are crucial to our industry’s vitality.
Craft, a Plains, TX cotton ginner, said all of U.S. agriculture is relying on modernizing trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, as well as maintaining a strong negotiating platform at the World Trade Organization.
As the unifying force of the U.S. cotton industry, the NCC is tasked with ensuring the ability of all industry segments to compete effectively and profitably in the raw cotton, oilseed and U.S.-manufactured product markets at home and abroad.
Source – National Cotton Council