APG Member Jim Zion Appointed to Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee

Jim Zion was recently appointed to the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in Fruits and Vegetables as a representative of Meridian Growers, LLC. The Fruits and Vegetables ATAC provides technical advice on U.S. agricultural trade issues to the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States Trade Representative (USTR). This Committee plays a critical role in the development of trade policy, providing advice on negotiating objectives and strategies and on other matters related to the development and administration of U.S. agricultural trade policy.

According to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, "USDA and USTR rely on the individuals who serve on these committees to provide their expert advice on U.S. trade policy and priorities. They are an invaluable asset as we work to enact trade agreements and trade policies that deliver the greatest economic benefit for U.S. agriculture and for our nation as a whole."

Vilsak adds, "The last six years have been the strongest in history for U.S. agricultural exports, with international sales of American farm and food exports totaling $771.7 billion. Those exports now support more than a million quality American jobs. As we negotiate new trade agreements in Asia and Europe we will rely on APAC and ATAC members' expertise and knowledge to bring home the best possible deals."

Congress established the advisory committee system in 1974 to ensure a private-sector voice in establishing U.S. agricultural trade policy objectives to reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative jointly manage the committees.

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