Lawmakers Monday introduced the Safe American Food Exports Act. The legislation would codify USDA’s role in negotiating regionalization agreements that allow livestock, poultry, and other animal products from unaffected areas of the country to continue to be safely exported in the event of an animal disease outbreak.
Although USDA already works with the U.S. Trade Representative to develop the agreements, the legislation explicitly expresses congressional support for establishing regionalization agreements and promoting robust agricultural trade policies before any animal disease impacts the nation. Representative Randy Feenstra, an Iowa Republican, and Jimmy Panetta, A California Democrat, introduced the legislation in the House of Representatives.
Feenstra says, “Like every producer fears, foreign animal disease can devastate flocks and herds, preventing our farmers from selling their high-quality product on the global market.” Feenstra says his bill ensures a disease outbreak in one part of the country does not impact other regions’ ability to produce and export agricultural goods.