U.S. Dry Bean Council Joins Multiple Efforts to Communicate Trade Priorities to Transition Team

January 17, 2017

Over the last few weeks communications with the Trump Transition team have been fast and furious with various coalitions now forming to address different aspects of the agricultural trade agenda. Among the three priority areas now being addressed by the coalitions are: NAFTA, Asia Pacific trade and TPP, and Cuba. USDBC will represent dry bean industry interests in both The North American Food and Agriculture Trade Group – a coalition of agricultural producers and processors and the Agricultural Dialog, representing the full value chain of agricultural trade including farmers, shippers, elevator operators, and traders. USDBC, along with numerous agricultural colleagues have signed two letters, asking that any “modernization” of NAFTA prioritizes agricultural interests and a separate letter requesting that the U.S. continue to get the best possible deal for agriculture in the Asia Pacific region and not withdraw immediately from TPP. Both groups have or will request meetings with the Trump Transition team. A separate effort is underway to encourage the Transition Team to allow the most recent normalization measures with Cuba to stand along with a continuation of that dialogue.

Agricultural Trade Is Critical 2016 Agricultural Exports . (Source: USDA/FAS)

Agricultural Trade Is Critical
2016 Agricultural Exports . (Source: USDA/FAS)

In addition to coalition based efforts, USDBC has also reached out to the Transition Team to communicate specific dry bean related concerns regarding both NAFTA and TPP. There is a great deal of concern among agricultural groups regarding the future of the U.S. trade agenda as our agricultural sector, including the U.S. dry bean industry, is dependent on trade. This issue is a top priority for us, as is continued and increased funding of the Market Access and Foreign Market Development programs (MAP &FMD) that are a result of our long standing and successful public/private partnership with the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). We will be discussing this in greater detail at our upcoming winter meeting and in future communications.

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