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USDA Official on the Road for Trade

Cindy Zimmerman

photo credit: AgNet West

photo credit: AgNet West

USDA officials have been on the road this year meeting with agricultural stakeholders around the country to talk about the importance of Trade Promotion Authority for the president in expanding international markets for U.S. products.

USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Alexis Taylor was in California a few weeks ago and today she was in Florida. She’s also visited with producers in Oregon, Washington, and Pennsylvania. “I do see a geographical difference in the issues that they’re facing in various markets,” said Taylor. “But consistently I am hearing very strong support for the president to get Trade Promotion Authority and passage of the Trans Pacific Partnership.”

Taylor says one of the main concerns she has heard is that the TPP be a truly comprehensive trade agreement. “There’s a concern that maybe agriculture will be left behind,” she said. “But one of our priorities is that this is a comprehensive agreement – it will cover all of agriculture.”

There is a sense of urgency to get Congress to approve TPA so the TPP can be concluded by the end of this year, since next year is a presidential election year, so Taylor encourages farmers who support it to tell their story. “Agriculture has a great story to tell when it comes to exports,” she said.

Listen to my interview with Alexis here: Interview with Alexis Taylor, USDA-FAS

Audio, Trade, USDA