Taylor: Biden trade approach can rebuild trust
|In her first meeting with reporters, Alexis Taylor, the agriculture undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said the Biden approach to international trade espoused by Trade Representative Katherine Tai can help rebuild trust in trade.|
Although many farm leaders have complained that the Biden approach does not include reduction of tariffs for more market access, Taylor said she too has heard complaints from some farmers including specialty crop producers that they see “challenges around tariff liberalization.”
Market liberalization has made U.S. agriculture an “export powerhouse,” Taylor said, “but we need confidence in that trading system.”
Asked by The Hagstrom Report if that meant complaints from farmers about imports, Taylor said that the concern is broader and also includes unfair nontariff barriers and food safety issues.
The Biden administration approach “can build trust” around the benefits of trade, Taylor said. She also emphasized that she is committed to diversifying the international markets for U.S. products beyond the countries to which U.S. farmers now export.
Taylor, who grew up in Iowa and was most recently state agriculture director in Oregon, said her childhood and experience in Oregon have made her determined to stay closely in touch with producers in her current position. She said she became interested in the job due to the challenges related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and climate change.
Confirmed by the Senate in December and on the job for only three weeks, Taylor said she talks with Doug McKalip, the newly confirmed chief agricultural trade negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on an almost daily basis. McKalip and she share a desire that producers’ views be at the “forefront” of policy, Taylor said.