U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman announced the appointments of two UFCW International staff members to two Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees. They were tapped to serve on the committees as part of a group of more than 100 private-sector members to be a part of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) or one of the six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs). This group of committee members will serve until June 15, 2019.
Kurt Brandt, Assistant to the Director in the UFCW Food Processing, Packing and Manufacturing Division, was appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products. Barbara Gilbert, Senior Policy Advisor to the President in the UFCW Strategic Resources Department, was appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Processed Foods.
“USDA and USTR rely on the individuals who serve on these committees to provide their expert advice on U.S. trade policy and priorities. They are an invaluable asset as we work to enact trade agreements and trade policies that deliver the greatest economic benefit for U.S. agriculture and for our nation as a whole,” Vilsack said.
“The strength of our trade agenda is dependent on the advice and counsel we receive from our trade advisors. And, now is more important than ever as we pursue the most ambitious trade agenda ever for America’s farmers, ranchers and businesses of all sizes. The individuals we are appointing today represent one of the most important sectors to America’s export economy and will provide critical advice as we negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and work to expand export opportunities for American agriculture,” said Froman.
Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees. The APAC provides advice and information to the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative on the administration of trade policy, including enforcement of existing trade agreements and negotiating objectives for new trade agreements.The ATACs offer technical advice and information about specific commodities and products.