Elaine Trevino, President Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as chief agricultural negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, has the support of the vast majority of the food and agriculture sector. A coalition of 170 U.S. food and agriculture industry members called for the swift confirmation of Trevino.
In a letter sent to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the coalition cites Trevino’s strong familiarity with the industries through her work in several critical roles, including her current position leading the Almond Alliance of California, her previous role as deputy secretary of agriculture for California, and as a current member of USDA’s Agriculture Policy Advisory Committee. The letter underscores the need to address growing trade challenges with Mexico, China and the European Union, and notes that Trevino’s skills will deliver success on these issues.
“She understands the critical need to open and maintain foreign market access and reduce barriers for U.S. food and agriculture workers and exporters for the benefit of consumers in the U.S. and across the globe,” the letter states.
Together, the coalition members represent the vast majority of the food and agriculture sector, accounting for roughly one-fifth of the country's economic activity and directly supporting over 20 million jobs – constituting nearly 13% of total U.S. employment. As a net producing nation of food and agriculture products, foreign markets are critical to the economic vitality of the food and agriculture sector.
“We believe that Ms. Trevino has the experience and expertise to secure greater market access for U.S. products and ensure enforcement of clear and fair rules with our trade partners so U.S. food and agriculture workers and our industry sectors may fairly compete in the global economy,” the letter notes.
A leader in the coalition, John Bode, president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association, applauded the nomination and recommended her prompt confirmation.
“Securing greater market access for U.S. products, ensuring enforcement of existing trade agreements, and tackling non-tariff barriers to global trade is critical for our nation’s food and agriculture workers,” says Bode. “Ms. Trevino’s meaningful experience and qualifications will help our industry sectors fairly compete and thrive in the global economy. We would like to have her on the job at the earliest possible date.”
Bode says he’s not heard of any questioning underway by Senate members. The Senate Finance Committee did not respond to requests on the timing of a potential hearing or when questioning would start in preparation for the nomination hearing.