Senators Debbie Stabenow, Chair of the Senate Ag Committee, and Ranking Member John Boozman asked President Biden to quickly fill vacancies at USDA. They say filling the open positions can help increase trade opportunities for American agriculture.
In a letter sent to the White House, the leaders ask Biden to quickly nominate a candidate to serve as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. They also want a candidate in place to serve as the Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the position previously held by former Indiana State Department of Agriculture director Ted McKinney.
“Global agricultural markets are highly competitive,” the senators wrote. “Every day, new trade barriers against American agricultural products are being devised to limit our access.”
They also point out that the agricultural industry needs strong advocates that understand the needs of American farmers, ranchers, and foresters and who will represent their collective interests on the world stage.