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on March 7, 2017

Trump urged to fill USDA undersecretary for trade post

Position was mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill

United States President Donald Trump is being urged by 29 agricultural organizations to establish an office of the Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the USDA as mandated by the 2014 Farm Bill.

North American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, National Pork Producers Council, USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, American Feed Industry Association, National Renderers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, U.S. Meat Export Federation, National Corn Growers Association and National Oilseed Processors Association were among the groups to pen a letter to Trump.

In the letter, the organizations stated that the creation of such a position would help modernize USDA’s trade organizational structure, which has remained unchanged since 1978. Also in the letter, the groups stressed that this position would bring unified, high-level representation to key trade negotiations with senior and foreign officials and within the U.S. government’s executive branch. An undersecretary in this area would also be needed to confronting evolving barriers to trade and the opening of new markets for U.S. agricultural goods.

“We believe it is vitally important for U.S. agriculture to fully capitalize on the long-term, increased global demand for farm and food products in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Overseas markets represent 73 percent of the world’s purchasing power, 87 percent of the economic growth, and 95 percent of the world’s customers. We can take a major step towards that goal by ensuring that the trade structure at USDA is effectively positioned to address the trade challenges and enormous opportunities that await us in the decades ahead,” the groups wrote.

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