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HomeAg NewsAFB to Press Market Access Message to WH via McKalip

AFB to Press Market Access Message to WH via McKalip

American Farm Bureau’s senior director of government affairs Dave Salmonsen says his organization will continue to press for binding market access agreements despite President Biden’s anti-free trade deal policy. Salmonsen says Farm Bureau won’t stop pressing to boost market access, even as Biden Special Ag Negotiator nominee Doug McKalip would be hamstrung by the president’s ‘no-FTA policy,’ if confirmed.

“We’re pressing for market access wherever we can. We want better trade relationships with a lot of countries. I think he will have a portfolio in that job to express the needs for American agriculture in trade.”

In effect, Salmonsen paints McKalip’s role, in part, as a “listening post” or conduit between the Ag community and the White House.

“There’ll be a lot of attention paid, through his office, to these issues from the outside, from both the Ag stakeholder community, from the Hill, from Congress, and he’ll have to deal with that.”

Salmonsen doesn’t expect McKalip to change the administration’s approach to trade but suggests Farm Bureau won’t be shy about delivering its longstanding message on trade.

“Greater market access. We’ve said that, and we’ll say it again. We’d like to see more engagement to get towards real binding agreements in the future. That’s a consistent message from us.”

McKalip insists that, short of new trade deals, he’ll push to expand ag trade in the UK, the Indo-Pacific, Latin America, and parts of Africa.

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