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Doud: China Is Stockpiling World’s Grain Supplies

New ag trade negotiator says “everyone must play by the rules.”

Gregg Doud is one week on the job as the chief agricultural negotiator for the U.S. trade representative, and his reading list is long. Doud, who is taking the lead on getting ag trade agreements done, says the list of global trade issues and violations is so long that he hasn’t even gotten through reading it. 

The number of trade partners who “do not play by the rules” is deep, Doud said, and “these players have been breaking the rules for far too long.” President Trump is “stepping into the breech” to fight these unfair practices. “And he is absolutely right,” Doud said.

Doud, approved by the Senate on March 1, made his remarks at the Agri-Pulse “Harvesting Perspectives” summit in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, March 20. Before his appointment, he previously served as the president of the Commodity Markets Council, worked as a staffer for the Senate Agriculture Committee, and was chief economist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Transparency is a key issue that impacts trade globally – and Doud pointed at China as a key example of hiding practices. China has not submitted the level of its agricultural supports to the World Trade Organization since 2010.

Another issue is the oversupply of commodities that China is stockpiling. Doud reports that China has:

  • 47% of the world’s residual supply of wheat
  • 40% of the world’s residual supply of corn
  • 66% of rice
  • 46% of cotton 
  • 22% of the residual supply of soybeans

Stockpiling these commodities is “depressing prices for every other farmer across the globe,” Doud said. This oversupply saturates other markets, as well. “This is a problem,” Doud said. “A big problem we are dealing with at the USTR.”

This “total disregard” for fair market trading is “imposing a cost on each one of us,” he said. The USTR is taking this issue to the WTO and using it as a forum to make changes.

Doud owns part of his family’s Kansas farm – a century farm. He holds a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Kansas State University.

Now that he’s on the job, it completes the trade team working for USTR’s Robert Lighthizer. The team is “ready to go at USTR … and there’s a lot to be done,” Doud said.

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