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Agricultural News


Sen. Lankford Talks Agricultural Commerce with US Trade Representative Nominee Robert Lighthizer

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:56:43 CDT

Sen. Lankford Talks Agricultural Commerce with US Trade Representative Nominee Robert Lighthizer Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma today met with Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be the US Trade Representative. From his office in Washington, D.C., Lankford spoke with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays about his visit with Lighthizer.



According to Lankford, much of his conversation with the prospective trade representative centered around gaining access to Asia as well as Central and South America. He added that emphasis was placed on beating New Zealand and Australia in the Japanese market also.



“We spent a lot of time talking about his ag perspective, manufacturing perspective and how to actually open up markets in Asia,” Lankford said about his meeting with Lighthizer. “Obviously, we’re dealing with low commodity prices here in the United States and so it becomes exceptionally important to be able to open up additional markets and locations and be able to put our products out there.”



One in nine Oklahoma exports is an agricultural commodity, including: wheat, beef, pork, and cotton. The total value of all agricultural exports from the state is valued at nearly two billion dollars.



“Trade is an essential part of the Oklahoma and American economy. We must continue to expand exports and market access for our nation’s agricultural industry,” stated Lankford in a release from his office. “We must also leverage our economy in trade negotiations to export our values and promote human rights with potential trading partners. I believe that Mr. Lighthizer is committed to ensuring US trade policy does not overlook the vital role that Oklahoma production plays at the global level. In the days ahead, I hope the Trump Administration will aggressively pursue bilateral trade agreements that benefit our state and the nation’s future.”



In 1983, Lighthizer served as deputy trade representative in President Reagan’s administration. Equipped with the knowledge and experienced gained in that role and additionally in his work with former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas, Lankford insists he understands the importance of trade and the benefits agriculture has had through treaties like the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. The Senator says that while Lighthizer agrees with some of President Trump’s trade preferences like bilateral agreements, he does appreciate NAFTA and would like to see it improved but without interruption.



For more on Lankford’s discussions with Lighthizer on subjects including the confirmations of Sonny Perdue and Neil Gorsuch, plus talks to reform the Death Tax, click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear Hays’ Q&A session with the Senator.




   





   

Click or tap the LISTEN BAR below to hear Hays' Q&A session with Senator James Lankford of Okla.
right-click to download mp3

 

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