Written by: Lacie Dotterweich | August 15, 2023
When you think of federal agencies, what comes to mind? For me, I think of an intimidating, hulking building with slow, red-tape processes. I recently learned the reality is far from my wild imagination. Boiled down, federal agencies, and specifically the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in this story, is comprised of people, looking to give back to their country.
Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of accompanying the American Feed Industry Association’s International Trade Committee to a meeting with USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator Doug McKalip, where we discussed barriers the U.S. animal food industry currently faces in opening market access. To my surprise, the meeting was more relaxed and conversational than I expected it to be, with the standard small-talk and a few cracking of jokes.
Breaking the ice and getting to know the people behind the curtain is incredibly important, as agency staff should hear about industry positions directly from AFIA members when considering policy.
Members: get involved with the AFIA committees and make your voice heard! I promise it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. You can see for yourself by watching my video diary from the day with the ITC below.
From now on, when I think of federal agencies, I will see the kind faces of the people I met and how they are working to create a better business climate for the U.S. animal food industry at home and abroad.