WASHINGTON — The US Senate voted on Dec. 21 to confirm former director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture Alexis Taylor as the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) undersecretary for trade and foreign affairs.
As the new top agricultural trade official, Taylor will be responsible for overseeing international negotiations related to agricultural trade, developing US trade policies, opening foreign markets to US farm goods and promoting US agriculture.
Taylor in September said her top priorities would be working with the US Trade Representative on a path toward country-of-origin labeling that is World Trade Organization-compliant, holding Canada and Mexico to their commitments under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, trying to expand export markets for dairy and other farm products within the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and working to contain highly pathogenic avian influenza cases without disrupting markets.
Industry groups praised the Senate for confirming Taylor. International Dairy Foods Association president and chief executive officer Michael Dykes said members of the organization were “elated” by her confirmation.
“Ms. Taylor’s depth of experience in trade issues in previous senior roles at the department and recently with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, along with her longstanding commitment to advancing agricultural policy and US exports, make her an ideal fit for the position,” Dykes said. “She has been a strong supporter of the US dairy industry and we are confident that Ms. Taylor will continue to advance market opportunities for U.S. dairy around the world.”