Dairy group disappointed in lack of trade deal progress

A dairy farmer cooperative would like to see Washington get more active in negotiating trade deals.  Mykel Wedig with Edge Dairy Farmers Cooperative tells Brownfield the first year of the Biden Administration hasn’t made any progress on trade. “We’re a little bit disappointed to not see anything yet but I would say that our number one priority right now is getting that ag negotiator in place. It will be difficult to negotiate any effective agreements for ag without this and until this happens.”

Wedig says Edge is hopeful there will be a hearing for nominee Elaine Trevino early in the new year. “Most folks in ag do back her nomination and so our number one priority would be to get her in place.”

Once the ag negotiator is in place, Wedig says the U.S. needs to ramp up its trade efforts as competitors like the EU have been busy making trade deals. “The EU has negotiated and signed eight free trade agreements and the U.S. has only signed four, so we can’t continue to fall behind and let the others write the rules of trade.”

Wedig also expects farm organizations will be lobbying Congress to again extend Trade Promotion Authority to the President since it expired July 1st of 2021.  She says dairy exports have done well, but the U.S. needs access to more markets.

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