Holds Cleared for Senate Vote on Chief Agricultural Negotiator at USTR

Feb 02, 2018
USTR nominee Gregory Doud
 USTR Ag Nominee Gregory Doud, white male wearing blue suit and purple tie testifying before Congress
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) lifted his hold yesterday on the nomination of Gregory Doud, the Trump administration’s pick for chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, after receiving assurances that his concerns over a proposal involving U.S. import protections on seasonal produce in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) would be addressed.

“Given the importance of U.S. agriculture and what’s at stake for them in the NAFTA negotiations, I am pleased that this nomination can move forward,” Flake said.

USA Rice joined nearly 80 other agricultural groups in a letter to each U.S. Senator earlier this week urging confirmation of Doud and other nominees to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.  “There is a full trade agenda facing U.S. agriculture, and Ambassador Lighthizer needs a full team at USTR,” said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings.   

Doud is president of the Commodity Markets Council, and was nominated last June for the position at USTR.  The Senate Finance panel cleared Doud unanimously in October, but his nomination has been held up since Flake placed his hold last November.  It is uncertain when the Senate will vote on his nomination, but it is expected to go smoothly, as Doud is a widely supported choice and the position has remained empty for months.