China, Asia Trade Top Agriculture Industry List for Biden Pick
· Californian Trevino tapped to be USTR agriculture negotiator
· ‘Left behind’ producers want to pry open Pacific Rim markets
By Megan U. Boyanton, Bloomberg Government
October 12, 2021
Improving U.S. trade with Asian nations, particularly China, is the top priority for American food exporters as President Joe Biden’s nominee for chief agricultural trade negotiator heads for Senate confirmation.
“We are being left behind while the rest of the world has negotiated new business deals,” said Peter Bachmann, vice president of international trade policy at USA Rice Federation.
The agriculture industry wants to build on the U.S.-China phase one trade deal the Trump administration negotiated. Pork producers and family farmers are also looking to Pacific Rim nations, aiming to join an existing trade agreement with those countries.
Biden’s nominee to the post within the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office, Elaine Trevino, is a former deputy secretary in the Department of Food and Agriculture in her home state of California, the nation’s largest agricultural exporting state. Currently, she’s president of the Almond Alliance of California.
The Senate Finance Committee has yet to schedule her nomination hearing.
For the agriculture industry, Trevino represents an opportunity to use trade for further recovery from the economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. If confirmed, she would be the first woman of color in the post.
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