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Ag negotiator ready to step into NAFTA negotiations

Photo Courtesy of Radio Oklahoma Network

The agriculture industry may soon have a stronger voice in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) modernization talks.

Commodity Markets Council (CMC) Chief Gregg Doud may soon become the nation’s top Ag trade negotiator. The Senate Finance Committee easily endorsed the President’s nominee, but one senator blocked full Senate action in an effort to get protection for U.S. fruit and vegetable growers against Mexican produce. The hold has been dropped, but the future of NAFTA is still uncertain.

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) has relented after Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer agreed to work with Flake on proposed NAFTA protections against Mexican produce that could invite retaliation against U.S. growers. Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts (R-KS) spoke in October on Lighthizer’s need to get Doud on board.