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'International markets are key for continued development and success of the US feed industry'

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Wilbur Ross, the new US commerce secretary, has been welcomed by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA).

The US feed representatives highlighted the need for the department and the feed industry to collaborate.

“AFIA intends to work closely with the DOC moving forward – US trade efforts, including animal food, are expected to now fall under its diction – and will support the secretary in the promotion and enforcement of laws regarding fair trade and open markets for US products,” said Joel Newman, AFIA president, after Ross’ confirmation Monday.

The association wants to ensure the international trade needs, concerns and interests of the US feed industry are represented and taken into consideration in broader administrative trade policy strategies led by the commerce department, he said.

Trade focus

International trade offers potential for the future growth of the US animal food industry, said Newman.  

Last year, feed industry exports amounted to more than $11bn when considering feed, feed ingredients and pet food, he said.

“It is important for Sec. Ross to understand how international markets are key for continued development and success of the US feed industry,” he said. “The agriculture industry, specifically the animal food sector, must be a priority when determining administrative trade policy. If not, our ability to advance will be diminished.”

The commerce department also will need to play a part in protecting the feed industry from violations of intellectual property rights and other unfair global practices, Newman said. 

“AFIA, on behalf of industry, asks Sec. Ross to collaborate and cooperate with the various pieces of the federal trade policy puzzle, including the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] and USTR [US Trade Representative], to keep all agricultural exports strong in the face of intense global competition and globally weak commodity prices,” he said.

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