The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) commends the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry for its bipartisan support in voting to send the nomination of Alexis Taylor to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s undersecretary of trade and foreign agricultural affairs to the full Senate body. Following the committee’s vote, AFIA’s President and CEO Constance Cullman issued the following statement: 

“American agriculture, and especially the U.S. feed industry, has patiently waited for this incredibly important trade position to be filled and we are thrilled to see the advancement of Ms. Taylor’s nomination to the full Senate. Now, we call upon the Senate to swiftly confirm Taylor. While we have been waiting, our competitors have continued to enhance their trade and competitiveness by negotiating and completing new trade agreements.”

Demand for the United States' high-quality animal nutrition products is strong and growing, with the latest data from the U.S. Department of Commerce showing that the industry's exports grew 22% in value in 2021 compared to 2020.

In addition, the North American Meat Institute (NAMI or the Meat Institute) called for swift consideration of three nominations critical to the meat and poultry industry pending before the full Senate: Jose Emilio Esteban to be Undersecretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, Alexis Taylor, and Doug McKalip, nominated to be Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

“The meat and poultry industry supports the nominations of Esteban, Taylor and McKalip,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “Their leadership in food safety and trade is much needed and with strong bipartisan support, they should be considered without further needless delay.”

Esteban and Taylor’s nominations were reported favorably out of the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier today. Earlier this month, McKalip’s nomination was also reported favorably out of the Senate Committee on Finance which has jurisdiction on trade issues. All three await final consideration by the full Senate.

Jose Emilio Esteban
“Dr. Esteban is well respected and well qualified to lead the food safety mission at the Department,” said Potts. “A veterinarian and an epidemiologist with decades of experience at USDA, Esteban is uniquely qualified to ensure sound science drives food safety and public health decision-making.”

Alexis Taylor
“Alexis’ experience working in Congress, in the Department, and as Oregon Secretary of Agriculture make her uniquely qualified for this role,” said Potts. “She is the right person at the right time to lead the nation’s focus on strengthening exports, expanding access to new markets and navigating an increasingly unpredictable global economy. We look forward to working with her especially as meat and poultry products are seeing record demand at home and abroad.”

Doug McKalip
“It is important to have an advocate like Doug McKalip fighting for U.S. agriculture within USTR who will defend and promote our interests in diverse, growing markets by reducing trade barriers, expanding market access and ensuring a level playing field for our exporters,” said Potts.

Source: AFIA, NAMI