February 2, 2018 |
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Thursday dropped his hold on President Trump’s nominee to become the nation’s chief agricultural trade negotiator after securing commitments to address his concerns over U.S. proposals to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Flake decided to let Gregory Doud’s nomination move forward after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said they would work with him on a seasonal produce proposal to NAFTA he argued would hurt farmers.
“Given the importance of U.S. agriculture and what’s at stake for them in the NAFTA negotiations, I am pleased that this nomination can move forward,” Flake said.
“While certainly there are areas in the NAFTA agreement ripe for modernization, adding ill-advised seasonal or regional components to existing trade remedies would lead to needless trade restrictions, devastating economic consequences and likely retaliation,” he said.
Flake said he will continue to work toward a solution with the administration and Hatch as well as “utilizing additional procedural tools at my disposal.”
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