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KayDee Gilkey USDA Reorganization and US Trade Representative Announced
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: May 12, 2017

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USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue’s announcement of a USDA undersecretary on trade was met with open arms by farm groups. The Department of Agriculture will be reorganized to include a trade secretary as Perdue explains

Perdue: “We’re creating a new undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs whose focus will be to promote U.S. food, fiber and food around the world. And that person will work hand and hand with our U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. We are already looking at candidates and whoever will fill this roll will be nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.”

Perdue also announced the creation of an undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation, which will oversee the Farm Service Agency, the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, and the Risk Management Agency. The reorganization also includes eliminating the Rural Development Undersecretary, having the division report directly to Secretary Perdue.

In related news after a lengthy confirmation process, the U.S. Senate gave the nod to Robert Lighthizer yesterday to serve as U.S. Trade Representative for President Donald Trump. The Senate approved Lighthizer 82-14, giving the Trump administration its final trade voice needed to move forward with its trade agenda. That agenda includes a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Ag Secretary Perdue predicted last week could happen within the next six months.

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