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‘Could Be an Extraordinary Year’

Ambassador Gregg Doud gives a quick update on international trade during 2021 Pet Food Conference

Gregg doud intl trade capture

Last year at this time, the Phase One Trade Deal with China was being finalized. The deal was implemented in February reminds Ambassador Gregg Doud.

“We were having a hard time selling beef, dairy – even pet food to China,” he said during a recent international trade update during the 2021 Pet Food Conference.

“We had 33 negotiating sessions – hundreds of hours into this deal – and at the end, we had 57 structural changes China agreed to make,” says Doud. “Now, 52 to 54 of those changes are complete – which is an enormous amount of progress.”

Doud notes that agricultural exports to China are up 77%.

“There’s a chance that 2020 will be all time record for exports to China,” he says. “That’s incredible considering the agreement didn’t start until February. We may not reach the agreed Phase One levels, but we're really close."

One of structures that was changed was the approval process for new products and facilities. Doud says over 4,000 U.S. facilities are now eligible to export to China.

“We have agreement with China for first time ever to follow a process,” says Doud. “We send China a list and in 30 days, they have to post the approved list on the website. If it’s not done, they’re out of compliance with the agreement.

“So far, we’ve been very fortunate in getting facilities approved in a more timely manner,” he says. “This will help with our growth into the future.”

Doud notes there are several forces driving ag exports, including China demand and drought in South America.

“We’re going to find out how many soybeans we have in the U.S.,” says Doud. “This could be an extraordinary year – China will empty our bins for soybeans, sorghum and even corn.”

Doud noted China’s plan to ban feeding of swill/waste food to animals which will have an impact on their demand.

“This is a structural change in how they’re going to feed livestock and hogs,” he says. “This is going to be an interesting time for us. Combine this with our ability to have more access to China and the supply situations around the world – this is going to a lot of fun to watch and very interesting.”

Gregg Doud has served as the former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, with the Rank of Ambassador, in the Office of the United States Trade Representative since March 2018. In his role as former Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Ambassador Doud had been responsible for conducting and overseeing international negotiations related to trade in agricultural products. Prior to Ambassador Doud’s nomination, he was the President of the Commodity Markets Council, where he had served since 2013. He also served as a Professional Staff member of the Senate Agriculture Committee for Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Thad Cochran, and held various roles in the agriculture industry for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the U.S. Wheat Associates and the agricultural commodity consulting firm World Perspectives.

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