ASA Signs Joint Letter Urging Swift Confirmation of Vetter As Chief Agricultural Negotiator

Jan 23, 2014

Joining several other food and agricultural associations, ASA signed a letter to all members of the Senate Finance Committee in support of Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agriculture Services Darci Vetter’s nomination to become Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

According to the letter, “The position of Chief Agricultural Negotiator with the rank of ambassador was created in 1997 by Congress for the express purpose of ensuring that U.S. agriculture is fully represented in trade negotiations at the highest possible level. U.S. agricultural exports are valued at near $140 billion for 2013 and agriculture remains one of the few sectors in the overall economy that has shown a positive trade balance for decades.  The most recent figures place this value at or above $30 billion, making the role of the Chief Agricultural Negotiator one of the most important in the entire Office of the USTR.”

The organizations said Vetter brings a wealth of well-rounded background expertise to this position, including more than six years of experience at USTR, dealing with implementation of various provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement and experience working for the Senate Finance Committee.

“Her most recent experience within the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also given her direct exposure to the workings of many of the critical programs related to trade currently offered by the federal government as well as the numerous trade associations involved in helping to stimulate agricultural trade,” the groups said in the letter. “We believe Deputy Under Secretary Vetter is an exceptional selection to fill the role of agricultural ambassador and we urge her swift confirmation by the Senate.”

To read the entire letter, click here.