In a bid to kill a Trump administration NAFTA proposal giving U.S. growers more power in triggering anti-dumping charges, Sen. Jeff Flake has placed a hold on the nomination of Greg Doug to be chief agriculture negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
World Trade Online and Politico reported that Flake is concerned about the U.S. proposal in the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement to give seasonal producers of perishable products trade protection from imports from Mexico or Canada. Flake is asking to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to withdraw the proposal later this month when NAFTA talks resume in Mexico City, according to the reports.
Arizona, with the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, is a top state for U.S. produce imports and trade is a key contributor to the state’s economy.
A spokesperson for Flake’s office could not be reached for comment Nov. 10.
In Oct. 5 testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Doud said he appreciates the importance of trade for U.S. farmers.
“America’s farmers and ranchers understand that their future and their new wealth, as Thomas Jefferson would put it, depends upon the ability to export the food and fiber they grow to the 95% of the world’s population that lives outside the United States,” he said in his testimony.