ASA Cheers Creation of USDA Trade Under Secretary, Will Closely Evaluate Reorganization

May 11, 2017

The American Soybean Association (ASA), which represents growers of the nation’s largest agricultural export, expressed strong support today for the establishment of an Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The move comes as part of a larger reorganization of USDA by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.The post is one that ASA and other agriculture groups have long advocated for, including in a letter to the White House in late February. ASA President Ron Moore spoke on the new position and to the reorganization in a statement:

“The U.S. exports well over half of the soybeans we produce, and agriculture is one of only a handful of business sectors in the country with a positive trade balance--$17 billion last year. That success abroad leads to success here at home, returning billions to the economy and supporting more than a million jobs. To have USDA recognize the importance of farm trade by creating this position is very encouraging, and we appreciate the administration’s foresight in doing so. We know that President Trump has big ideas on trade, and it will be imperative to have high-level officials within the administration who understand the intricacies of global agriculture markets. Secretary Perdue has shown himself to be an advocate for agricultural trade, and the new Under Secretary will be a similarly major part of those conversations.

“Concerning a reorganization this comprehensive, ASA will need time to evaluate the impacts of the shift in mission areas, and any potential reallocation of resources to determine their effects on soybean farmers. We will review the new structure with a careful eye, looking to make sure that the new USDA increases efficiency, while keeping its commitment to expanding markets both at home and abroad for farmers; investing in rural infrastructure and development; meeting conservation goals; and helping U.S. farmers maintain their role as providers of food for the world’s hungry.”

Details on the reorganization can be found by clicking here.