As a member of the USDA’s Agriculture Policy Advisory Committee (APAC), Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif returned to Washington, D.C. for high-level meetings with members of the administration on agriculture trade policy. The advisory committee system was created by the U.S. Congress in 1974 to ensure that U.S. trade policy and trade negotiating objectives adequately reflect U.S. public-and private-sector interests.
The Administration updated advisers on the status of various trade negotiations including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). APAC members were able to raise concerns about various trade concerns facing agriculture. Nassif was able to voice frustration over the lack of progress towards the establishment of a PACA-like trust system for produce shipments into Canada. In meetings the previous week of the Fruit and Vegetable Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC), Western Growers Executive Vice President Matt McInerney raised similar concerns to U.S. negotiators. Establishment of this protection in the Canadian market was one of the stated objectives of the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) which was launched in 2011 between the United States and Canada.
The Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and six separate Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATACs) advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) about a wide range of agricultural trade issues.
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