Halstrom: USTR At Full Strength Good for USMEF, All Of Ag

Many in farm country were happy to hear the nomination earlier this month of Elaine Trevino to serve as chief Ag negotiator at USTR. U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom said President Biden’s nomination is significant on a number of fronts.

“Number one is it’s a key position to get some of these policy issues across the finish line.  And the other exciting thing is Elaine comes very, very highly qualified.  Currently serving as the president of the Almond Alliance in California and also serves on USDA’s APAC [Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee], so she brings a wealth of knowledge and background to a very important job.”

Halstrom said getting USTR up to full strength is key for the entire Ag sector. But when it comes to addressing the needs of the U.S. meat industry, one of the biggest that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later is the Japan Beef Safeguard.

“We saw in March and April of this year where we knew the safeguard would be triggered, so getting that baseline volume level raised a bit so we’re not triggering it in the future is of course one key priority,” Halstrom noted. “Also, the whole Phase One agreement with China.  I think we would all agree that the China situation on both beef and pork has been a success over the last two years, but what comes next?  What comes after the Phase One Agreement?  And of course all of the rhetoric around the EU’s farm-to-fork initiative.”

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