WASHINGTON, Jan. 10, 2014 – Almost 100 agriculture and food-related groups sent a letter to members of the Senate Finance Committee today endorsing the nomination of Darci Vetter as chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

Vetter is currently the USDA’s deputy undersecretary for farm and foreign agricultural services.  Prior to her service at USDA, Vetter served as an adviser to the Senate Finance Committee and directed agricultural affairs at USTR.

The 97 groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, said Vetter “brings a wealth of well-rounded background expertise” to the USTR position.

The groups also reminded lawmakers of the importance of agriculture to the U.S. trade mission and the economy, noting U.S. farm exports were valued at about $140 in 2013.

“[A]griculture remains one of the few sectors in the overall economy that has shown a positive trade balance for decades,” the groups wrote. “The most recent figures place this value at or above $30 billion, making the role of the chief agricultural negotiator as one of the most important in the entire Office of the USTR.”

Vetter, if confirmed by the Senate, will replace Islam Siddiqui, who is stepping down after a year and a half at the position.  


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