Dear Ambassador Tai,

On behalf of the U.S. food and agriculture community, we urge your enhanced engagement on trade policies to bolster our global competitive standing around the world. Recommitting to an aggressive trade agenda, holding parties accountable to commitments, and improving trade enforcement mechanisms are critical steps that need to be taken.

U.S. agriculture is foundational to the American economy – reaching far beyond farms and rural communities to support more than 48 million jobs across the country. The U.S. food and agriculture industries contributed $2.8 trillion (about $8,600 per person in the U.S.) in total wages this past year and generated over $9.6 trillion (about $30,000 per person in the U.S.) in total economic output.1 Exports account for about 20 percent of the production in this sector, making international trade vital to the success of U.S. agriculture. In 2023, American food and agriculture exports totaled $175 billion, providing jobs and economic opportunity throughout the supply chain.

We request the Administration recommit to an aggressive trade agenda to meaningfully expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. Export markets are essential for our survival, and comprehensive trade agreements and elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers help ensure that U.S. agriculture can compete on an even playing field in our export markets.

For trade agreements to function properly, both sides need to abide by their commitments, including the U.S, and it is imperative we respect our commitments under the World Trade Organization (WTO) and other trade agreements. Experience has demonstrated that U.S. trade actions that conflict with its trade agreement commitments often result in retaliation against U.S. food and agricultural exports and encourage imitation by trading partners. Such trade disputes and the associated retaliatory tariffs have caused significant long-term economic harm and market disruption for U.S. agricultural producers.

We also call for active enforcement of trade rules to ensure U.S. farmers capture the full scope of market access benefits within our existing trade agreements. Given the political sensitivity of agriculture in so many countries, U.S. agricultural products often face import restrictions and trade-related market distortions that are not in compliance with existing trade agreements. Some governments impose arbitrary protectionist measures to benefit domestic producers, while other governments use non-science based sanitary and phytosanitary measures to create unjustifiable barriers for imports. Active enforcement of trade agreements is critically important for U.S. agricultural producers and exporters.

It is critical the U.S. press international trading partners to implement objective science and risk-based regulatory measures, and that those obligations are upheld when threatened. Adherence to the standards and guidelines of the international standards organizations – namely Codex Alimentarius Commission, International Plant Protection Convention, and World Organization for Animal Health – must be promoted and pursued.

Furthermore, we call on USTR and the Administration to stringently and effectively enforce existing trade agreements. The success of U.S. agriculture depends on a rules-based system of trade, including enforcement mechanisms designed to protect U.S. agriculture from trade distorting impacts by trading partners’ non-compliance. To that end, the U.S. should also complete negotiations for WTO dispute settlement system reform in 2024, as it has already committed.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you in support of America’s producers and exporters of agricultural products.

Almond Alliance
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Feed Industry Association
American Soybean Association
Biotechnology Innovation Organization
Corn Refiners Association
CropLife America
Meat Institute
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Fisheries Institute
National Grain and Feed Association
National Milk Producers Federation
National Oilseed Processors Association
National Pork Producers Council
National Potato Council
National Sorghum Producers
National Turkey Federation
North American Millers’ Association
Northwest Horticultural Council
U.S. Apple Association
U.S. Dairy Export Council
U.S. Pea & Lentil Trade Association
U.S. Peanut Federation
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council
USA Rice Federation
US Dry Bean Council
Western Growers Association

1 2024 Feeding the Economy report

Contact Information

RJ Karney
Sr. Director, Public Policy
(571) 447-5324


Agricultural Coalition


Enhanced engagement on trade policies