USTR's Office of Agricultural Affairs has overall responsibility for U.S. government trade negotiations and policy development and coordination regarding agriculture. Staff works with the Chief Agricultural Negotiator and other USTR officials, and U.S. government agencies, particularly USDA, as appropriate.
Specific responsibilities include negotiation and implementation of the agricultural provisions of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda, operation of the WTO Committees on Agriculture and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures, agricultural regulatory issues (e.g., biotechnology, cloning, BSE, nanotechnology, other bilateral food safety, animal and plant health issues, and customs issues affecting agriculture), monitoring and enforcement of existing WTO and FTA commitments for agriculture and SPS issues, and WTO accession negotiations on agriculture market access, domestic support, export competition, and SPS matters.
The office monitors U.S. implementation of Farm Bill programs to ensure consistency with international obligations in the WTO and also is responsible for policy coordination of U.S. activities in agriculture-related committees of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The office also collaborates with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC).