Ag Policy Blog

Senators Call for President to Fill Ag Trade Positions

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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A bulk container waits for a load. Key senators on Wednesday called on President Joe Biden to fill some key positions for agricultural trade that remain unfilled a year into the administration. (DTN file photo)

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and John Boozman, R-Ark., ranking member, are encouraging President Joe Biden to quickly fill vacancies that can help increase trade opportunities for American agriculture.

In a letter to President Biden, the two leaders ask that he quickly nominate a candidate to serve as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, and a candidate to serve as the Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Global agricultural markets are highly competitive. Every day, new trade barriers against American agricultural products are being devised to limit our access. We need strong advocates who understand the needs of American farmers, ranchers, and foresters, and will represent their best interests on the world stage," the senators wrote.

The letter is also signed by Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho.…

DTN highlighted last week that the Biden administration still does not have a chief agricultural negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative's Office, and the Department of Agriculture doesn't have an undersecretary for foreign trade, the role Ted McKinney filled in the Trump administration.

USTR's chief agricultural negotiator nominee was Elaine Trevino. Among other work in her career, Trevino is a former California deputy agriculture secretary and former president of the Almond Alliance of California. Trevino was nominated last fall and had the backing of more than 170 agricultural groups who wrote the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee in mid-October. Trevino never received a confirmation hearing, so she withdrew her name from consideration in mid-March.

See: Key Ag Trade Positions Remain Unfilled in Biden Administration…

Chris Clayton can be reached at

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