**Ag groups are speaking out about last week’s assassination of Japan’s longest-serving leader and former prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

U.S. Grains Council President Ryan LeGrand says, Prime Minister Abe was a leader in many ways, including growing trade between the U.S. and Japan.

U.S. Meat Export Federation President Dan Halstrom says Abe was a true champion for free trade, especially his leadership in advancing the U.S.-Japan agreement, a major victory for American agriculture.

**A coalition of nearly 100 American food and ag organizations called for the prompt confirmation of Doug McKalip as the Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office.

In the letter to the U.S. Senate’s Finance Committee, the groups highlighted McKalip’s deep knowledge of the food and ag industry and his institutional, regulatory, and trade experience.

The groups note McKalip has the experience necessary to tackle some of the most pressing trade policy issues the industry is facing.

**World food prices fell for a third straight month in June, but the United Nation’s food agency says those prices are close to record levels set in March.

The Food and Agriculture Organization’s food price index for

June averaged 154.2, down from 157.9 in May.

Despite the drop, the June index was over 23% higher than at the same time last year.

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