The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) commended the Senate’s confirmation of Alexis Taylor to the position of USDA’s Under Secretary of Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.
As the USDA’s top trade official, Taylor will lead a team of negotiators responsible for implementing USDA’s trade policy, accelerating foreign market access, and promoting opportunities for U.S. agriculture. This is an especially important position for America’s dairy farmers, who last year exported over 17% of the milk they produced. With Taylor’s confirmation today, the Senate sent an unambiguous signal that the interests of the American dairy community will be represented in U.S. trade negotiations.
“We are extremely pleased that the Senate has confirmed Ms. Taylor,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of NMPF. “Her dedication and experience make her the perfect choice to serve American dairy producers and cooperatives’ goals of expanding access to international markets through this crucial role. We look forward to working together in ensuring agricultural export opportunities are included in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and other trade initiatives, in ensuring USMCA is fully and fairly implemented, and in tackling barriers to U.S. dairy exports in markets around the world. ”
Taylor’s confirmation comes during a key time for the U.S. dairy sector. While competitors’ trade agreements and the EU’s aggressive efforts to monopolize common food names pose significant challenges, dairy consumption is growing exponentially in many markets around the world.
“The U.S. dairy industry has an incredible opportunity to meet the rising global demand for sustainably produced dairy products,” said Krysta Harden, president and CEO of USDEC. “So much of the health of American agriculture and the nation’s dairy community is tied to ensuring that our products can reach consumers around the world. We’re thrilled that Alexis Taylor will help lead this effort and excited to work together to serve the American dairy sector and broader agricultural industry.”
NMPF and USDEC also call on the Senate to quickly confirm Doug McKalip to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. McKalip has served for decades at the USDA and White House and is a passionate advocate for U.S. agriculture.
“It’s regrettable that filling this important position has been delayed for so long,” lamented Mulhern. “Given the key role of the chief negotiator in advancing U.S. agriculture’s trade agenda, we urge the Senate to confirm Mr. McKalip without further delay.”
The National Milk Producers Federation, based in Arlington, VA, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. NMPF’s member cooperatives produce more than two-thirds of U.S. milk, making NMPF dairy’s voice on Capitol Hill and with government agencies. For more, visit www.nmpf.org.
The U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) is a non-profit, independent membership organization that represents the global trade interests of U.S. dairy producers, proprietary processors and cooperatives, ingredient suppliers and export traders. Its mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and assist the U.S. industry to increase its global dairy ingredient sales and exports of U.S. dairy products.