Scott, Boozman Urge Biden Nominee for Agricultural Trade Negotiator to Support U.S. Producers
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Ranking Member John Boozman (R-Ark.) led 19 of their Senate colleagues on a letter to Doug McKalip, President Biden’s nominee to be the United States Trade Representative’s (USTR) chief agricultural negotiator. The senators point out the Biden administration’s disastrous trade policies that have weakened America’s farmers and ranchers, and they urge McKalip, if confirmed, to seek trade agreements that support U.S. producers.
“It is … disappointing that not only has the Biden administration chosen to forego the pursuit of trade agreements of any kind which can provide enhanced market access for U.S. exporters, but in the case of U.S. dairy, the administration has failed to fully enforce existing trade agreements. President Biden’s decision to put the U.S. agricultural industry on the backburner of his trade agenda disadvantages American farmers and ranchers while jeopardizing America’s strategic interests in the face of an emboldened and increasingly assertive China,” the senators wrote.
They continued, “In light of these concerns, if confirmed, we request your commitment to working to enforce, enhance and grow market access as part of trade negotiations in order to promote U.S. agricultural exports which will be critical to achieving much-needed economic recovery.”
Joining Senators Scott and Boozman on the letter are Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.).
Agribusiness is South Carolina's largest economic sector, contributing nearly $42 billion and more than 200,000 jobs to the state's economy. According to the USDA, agricultural exports in South Carolina totaled $812 million in 2020.
With South Carolina’s producers at the top of mind, Sen. Scott recently:
- Urged the nation’s top financial regulators to support farmers and ranchers in the face of soaring inflation;
- Pushed back on a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal that would place burdensome climate regulations on the agriculture industry; and
- Raised concerns about a separate Consumer Financial Protections Bureau (CFPB) proposal that would make farmers’ jobs more difficult.
Read full text of the letter here.
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