Biden nominates Elaine Trevino to be chief ag trade negotiator

Biden nominates Elaine Trevino to be chief ag trade negotiator
Sep 15, 2021

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Trevino is a former deputy secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Following calls from members of Congress to fill important ag positions, President Biden has selected his nominee for chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).

The president announced Elaine Trevino as his nominee on Monday.

Trevino is president of the Almond Alliance of California, served as deputy secretary of the California Department of Agriculture and Food and is on the USDA’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee.

As chief agricultural negotiator, Trevino, if confirmed by the Senate, would work within the USTR to negotiate and implement ag provisions in free trade agreements, World Trade Organization commitments and other measures.

Her experience working within the ag community in the private and public sector makes her a good fit for the role, said United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai.

“Elaine Trevino understands the importance of America’s farmers and farming communities to the vitality of our economy. Her experience will help the Biden-Harris Administration craft durable trade policy that creates broad-based prosperity,” Tai said in a Sept. 13 statement. “Throughout her impressive career serving in leadership positions at the state and federal level, Elaine has developed strong relationships with key stakeholders and demonstrated a keen understanding of trade and agriculture policy.”

The U.S. ag community welcomed the news of Trevino’s nomination.

Her work within California, the country’s largest exporting state, will provide a good foundation to build upon new and existing trade opportunities, said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Opportunities to create new trade agreements with the European Union and Great Britain as well as expanding the China Phase 1 agreement make filling this position with the most qualified person extremely important,” he said in a statement on Monday. “We look forward to working with Ms. Trevino to help ensure a level playing field and to create new avenues for farmers and ranchers to feed the world.”

President Biden still has at least one more important ag position to fill.

He’s yet to announce his nominee as under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs at the United States Department of Agriculture.

Ted McKinney held this position under President Trump.

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