Ambassador Tai hosts roundtable in Washington State
U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Representative Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., And Representative Rick Larsen, R-Wash., Participated in a panel discussion Thursday with stakeholders from agriculture, tribal leaders and farmers following a visit to Washington State University Breadlab. At the event, Washington farmers and food producers from various sectors, including dairy, stressed the importance of implementing a trade policy that increases agricultural exports.
During the panel discussion, Tai discussed how trade can help Washington’s agricultural industries and producers. The ambassador underscored the importance of creating more inclusive trade policies that can deliver shared prosperity and growth to the agricultural sector, according to a USTR reading.
Tai has shared over the past few months, she has met with a range of agricultural actors – from small family farmers to leaders of the American Farm Bureau Federation – to better understand their perspective and ensure that our trade policy stimulates the sector.
“Our top priority is to make sure you can bring your products to new markets and new customers and to hold our business partners accountable for their commitments,” she told those at the roundtable.
Tai described actions taken over the past three months by the administration, including requesting a dispute settlement panel to examine whether Canada’s policies were preventing U.S. dairy farmers from getting their products to Canadian customers.
In June, the USTR reached deals with the EU and the UK over the Boeing / Airbus dispute, which included a long-term tariff suspension. Last month, she also visited Mexico City and highlighted the importance for Mexico to take the final steps to expand access to fresh American potatoes throughout Mexico.
“Overall, our first actions show how this administration intends to be a staunch defender of our agricultural industry and its producers,” she said.
Washington dairy farmers Jeremy Visser and Mike Schoneveld, owner-members of the US Dairy Export Council and Northwest Dairy Association / Darigold, member of the National Milk Producers Federation, stressed the importance of exports and market access. worldwide for the dairy industry. Visser and Schoneveld commended DelBene for its leadership on dairy trade issues to help expand opportunities for dairy products in international markets.
Dairy farmers are grateful to Ambassador Tai for initiating the case to resolve disputes against Canada’s restrictive access to US dairy products and also appreciate Representative DelBene’s advocacy on this issue. At the same time, dairy farmers also want to see a proactive business agenda aimed at opening up new markets around the world, ”said Jim Mulhern, President and CEO of NMPF.
“As strong as our balance sheet is to date, the US dairy industry has not reached its full commercial potential on the world stage. Every dairy product we export, whether it’s cheese, powdered milk or another essential dairy ingredient, has a powerful impact across the entire supply chain. Growing while securing market share overseas is essential for US dairy manufacturers and exporters, especially cheese exporters who face barriers disguised by the European Union’s Geographical Indications program. Said Krysta Harden, President and CEO of USDEC. “We thank Representative DelBene for hosting Ambassador Tai to hear directly from Washington’s agriculture industry on how to support this work through new trade agreements, trade agreement enforcement and barrier resolution. trade in other countries. ”