Ag Trade letter supporting Ellen Terpstra's nomination as Chief Ag negotiator

Dear Chairman Baucus:

The undersigned organizations applaud the nomination of A. Ellen Terpstra as the next Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. We urge swift Congressional confirmation of this important nomination.

Over the length of her government career, Ms. Terpstra has dedicated herself to the promotion of U.S. agricultural interests abroad and opening new markets for the U.S. food and agricultural sector. Her vast experience as the Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Administrator of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, President of the USA Rice Federation and the U.S. Apple Association, and former position as an agricultural trade negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative will serve her well in this capacity.

Our organizations strongly support expanding market access abroad and addressing the global trade distortions that are present in our sector. A successful conclusion of the World Trade Organization negotiations and Congressional consideration of the pending bilateral trade agreements will yield long-term benefits for our industry. Ms. Terpstra possesses outstanding skills to achieve these important goals.

Our sector continues to maintain a positive trade balance with total exports in 2007 exceeding $81 billion. One out of every three acres of U.S. agricultural production is destined for a foreign market.

With the pending free trade agreements and the Doha Round negotiations, the United States stands at a critical point in its agricultural trade policy. We urge the Senate Finance Committee to act quickly to approve Ms. Terpstra's nomination as Chief Agricultural Negotiator.

Respectfully,

American Cotton Shippers Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Feed Industry Association

American Frozen Food Institute

American Meat Institute

American Peanut Product Manufacturers, Inc.

American Potato Trade Alliance

American Seed Trade Association

American Soybean Association

American Sugar Alliance

Animal Health Institute

Archer Daniels Midland Company

Biotechnology Industry Association

Blue Diamond Growers

Bryant Christie Inc.

California Cherry Export Association

California Citrus Mutual

California Citrus Quality Council

California Farm Bureau Federation

California Grape and Tree Fruit League

California Pear Growers

California Table Grape Commission

Cargill, Incorporated

Chiquita Brands International

CoBank

Commodity Markets Council

ConAgra Foods Inc.

Corn Refiners Association

CropLife America

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

DuPont

Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association

Grocery Manufacturers Association

International Dairy Foods Association

Louis Dreyfus Commodities

Monsanto

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

National Chicken Council

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Grain and Feed Association

National Grange

National Milk Producers Federation

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Pork Producers Council

National Potato Council

National Renderers Association

National Sorghum Producers

National Sunflower Association

North American Export Grain Association

North American Millers' Association

Northwest Fruit Exporters

Northwest Horticultural Council

O'Mara and Associates

Oregon Potato Commission

Pet Food Institute

Pioneer Hi-Bred International

Sunkist Growers

Sun-Maid Growers of California

Sweetener Users Association

Syngenta Corporation

The Fertilizer Institute

U.S. Apple Association

U.S. Canola Association

U.S. Dairy Export Council

U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association

U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc.

U.S. Meat Export Federation

United Egg Association

United Egg Producers

United Fresh Produce Association

United States Dry Bean Council

US Rice Producers Association

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

USA Poultry and Egg Export Council

USA Rice Federation

Washington Apple Commission

Welch Foods Inc., A Cooperative

Western Growers Association

Western Pistachio Association

Wine Institute