U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in cooperation with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), is accepting nominations for new members to serve on its agricultural trade advisory committees. Nominations received by Friday, March 1, 2019, will be considered for the next round of appointments.
“USDA and USTR rely on the agricultural trade advisory committees to provide significant insight into trade issues for the United States. Hearing the diverse views of our agricultural experts helps us formulate trade strategy and keep American exports growing,” said Secretary Perdue. “Committee members serve an invaluable role to help enact trade agreements and trade policies that benefit America’s farmers, ranchers and rural America.”
“With around 20 percent of farm income derived from exports, it is critical that we get advice from the American food and agriculture community to ensure we are negotiating the best deals possible,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Our farmers, ranchers, and food manufacturers and workers can compete against anyone in overseas markets, and input from our stakeholders can help guide President Trump’s trade strategy in opening these markets.”
Members of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) advise USDA and USTR on operating existing U.S. trade agreements, on negotiating new agreements, and on other trade policy matters. Members of the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs) represent specific commodity sectors and provide technical advice and guidance on trade issues that affect both domestic and foreign production. The six ATACs focus on trade in:
- Animals and animal products;
- Fruits and vegetables;
- Grains, feed, oilseeds and planting seeds;
- Processed foods;
- Sweeteners and sweetener products; and
- Tobacco, cotton and peanuts.
Committee members represent a cross section of U.S. food and agricultural stakeholders and must have knowledge of agriculture and trade matters. Committee members, who serve four-year terms, must be U.S. citizens, qualify for a security clearance, and serve without compensation for time, travel or expenses. The committees generally meet in Washington, D.C., at least twice a year.
Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. ET on March 1, 2019. Nominations received after that date will be considered for future appointments as appropriate to maintain staggered terms. All nomination materials should be mailed in a single, complete package to: Sonny Perdue, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-1001, Attn: APAC/ATACs. Courtesy electronic copies of the nomination materials should be sent to ATACs@fas.usda.gov.