Trade is the lifeblood of the American soybean industry and ASA is encouraged by recent well-qualified appointments to high-level trade-related positions and the impacts these officials can have on future trade decisions.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue— Former Georgia Governor Perdue was confirmed as Secretary of the USDA on April 25. ASA recently applauded the role Secretary Perdue played in emphasizing the importance of renegotiating rather than withdrawing from NAFTA and the significance our of North American Trading Partners.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer— Confirmed in May, Trade Representative Lighthizer’s appointment was an essential step in enabling the U.S. government to engage in trade negotiations around the globe, and with Lighthizer’s background as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative under President Ronald Reagan, ASA has confidence in his understanding that trade is vital for U.S. agriculture and the larger U.S. economy.
U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad— Also confirmed in May, Former Iowa Governor Branstad has both an extensive understanding of the importance of exports to U.S. agriculture and along-time friendship with President Xi and other Chinese leaders that should benefit trade relationship for U.S. soybeans and agriculture.
Trade Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs— Announced by Secretary Perdue as part of a larger USDA reorganization, the creation of this position was applauded by ASA and many other farm organizations.