WASHINGTON, D.C. - National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson has been appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC). APAC provides trade policy advice regarding all agricultural trade issues.
"This is a tremendous honor, and ensures that family farmers and ranchers will have a voice at the table when it comes to trade issues," said Johnson. "Trade is very important to agriculture and agriculture is important to U.S. trade, being one of the few sectors to routinely post a trade surplus in the face of a very large U.S. trade deficit. U.S. trade considerations need to include the impacts of trade surpluses and deficits. We also need to consider the impact on hunger, human rights, the environment, and development goals around the world. Too often our trade policies discount these other important international goals."
North Dakota Farmers Union Vice President Elwood "Woody" Barth has been appointed by Secretary Vilsack to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade (ATAC) on animals and animal products. George Davis, vice president of California Farmers Union, was appointed to the ATAC on fruits and vegetables. Harvey Schroeder, executive director of the Oklahoma Cotton Council and member of Oklahoma Farmers Union, was appointed to the ATAC on tobacco, cotton, and peanuts.
The APAC and the six ATACs consult with, advise and make recommendations to the secretary of agriculture and to the U.S. Trade Representative on a wide range of agricultural trade issues. The committees provide information and advice on U.S. negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before the United States enter! s into trade agreements; on the operation of existing trade agreements; and on other matters related to the development, implementation, and administration of U.S. agricultural trade policy.