Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced this week that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting nominations to re-establish the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade (ATACs).
The private sector advisory system was established by Congress in 1974 to ensure that U.S. trade policy and negotiation objectives reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The system's three tiers consist of the President's Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy Negotiations, five general policy advisory committees (including APAC) and 22 technical advisory committees (including six ATACs).
The APAC provides advice on overall agricultural trade policy objectives and positions prior to entering trade agreements, the operation of trade agreements and other trade matters.
The executive board of the American Sheep Industry Association will be discussing nominations this month to ensure sheep industry representation continues on the committee pertaining to animals and animal products.
The committees, usually composed of 35 members, represent a cross-section of the food and agriculture industry and must have knowledge of agriculture and trade matters. Committee members must be U.S. citizens, qualify for a security clearance and serve without compensation for time, travel or expenses.
Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. on Dec. 17 to be considered. Complete details are available in the Federal Register at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/2010-27630.htm.