We had the chance (good fortune) to sit in on a discussion with Chief USTR Ag Trade Negotiator Greg Dowd at an RJO event this weekend in Chicago. Some great insight from a high level player in the current trade negotiations with China, NAFTA and the EU. As the press was intentionally kept out of the room, we won’t repeat his specific comments here, but would stress we came away from his remarks with two main points you should be aware of:
1) President Trump is keenly aware of the pain being suffered within the Ag industry as a result of the current trade disputes.
2) He is also, and at the same time, extremely committed to changing (i.e. improving) the US’s position in global trade, which he feels has been compromised & diminished by many years of poor domestic policy and trade deals.
Of those points above, the second has a clearer resolution/path forward than the first. Ambassador Dowd is high ranking and well connected within both Washington trade circles, and the Trump administration. He made it very clear that now is the time to be on offense regarding US trade negotiations. He indicated that Mr. Trump actually sees the trade issues as his ‘hallmark’ or ‘legacy’ agenda item – one on which he will be judged by the American voters who elected him to right-the-ship on trade and stand up for their future. This is where the ’extreme’ commitment mentioned above comes from. This would tell me that…
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