Roberts says the US needs a robust trade policy

Confirmation hearings are underway for President Trump’s nominee for the US Trade Representative and the Chairman of the Senate Ag Committee says the US needs a robust trade policy.

Pat Roberts, a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, told Robert Lighthizer the agriculture industry needs someone who will champion for it.  “On this list of goals – agriculture is listed as number 3,” he says.  “Given the rough patch we are in today, given the 16 year low in prices, and other considerations – I believe it should be number one.”

Lighthizer, the deputy trade representative under former President Ronald Reagan, says he will prioritize agriculture.  “Both in terms of maintaining what we have and in terms of getting additional market access,” he says.

He says opening up more markets to US ag sales is a high priority.  “It is hard for me to understand why we tolerate so many barriers to agricultural trade when America is the number one producers of ag products,” he says.  “We are the best in the world.  If you believe really in trade and market efficiency, you just have to believe agriculture is more of a positive than it is.”

Lighthizer says the US needs to a better job looking out for its own interests in international trade negotiations.

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