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Ambassador Kirk Co-Hosts Two Agricultural Trade Committees

Ambassador Kirk and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack co-hosted the third meeting of two agriculture committees this morning at USDA. The joint plenary of the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs) met with Ambassador Kirk and Secretary Vilsack to discuss the Obama Administration’s trade agenda in relation to agriculture.

Ambassador Kirk spoke with committee members about the importance of agricultural trade, which accounted for over $96 billion in U.S. exports in 2009 and which supports approximately 1 million U.S. jobs both on and off the farm. He also discussed how USTR is working to increase these exports for American farmers and ranchers across the country through various trade initiatives.

The 35-member APAC provides advice concerning agricultural trade policy and represents a broad spectrum of agricultural interests. The ATACs provide advice from the perspective of the following commodity groups: Animals and Animal products; Fruits and Vegetables; Grains, Feed and Oilseeds; Processed Foods; Sweeteners and Sweetener Products; and Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts, and Planting Seeds. Both committees are appointed jointly by the U.S. Trade Representative and the Secretary of Agriculture.