The Trump Administration is rolling out an extensive reorganization of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the first since 1994, that will streamline the department, create a new undersecretary position, and place new emphasis on trade and its important within the global economy.
Recently confirmed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue made the announcement Thursday.
“Our plan to establish an undersecretary for trade fits right in line with my goal to be American agriculture’s unapologetic advocate and chief salesman around the world. By working side by side with our U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, the USDA undersecretary for trade will ensure that American producers are well equipped to sell their products and feed the world,” Perdue said in a press release.
“America’s strength lay not just in our ability to protect our allies but also to feed them. I have long said that Americas strength might lay not just in our military capabilities but in the fact that we have one of the strongest agricultural economies in the world,” Aderholt said in a statement. “Realizing the strength of our farmers comes through trade. Quite frankly, our farmers and ranchers can compete with any country in the world if we are given a level playing field. An Under Secretary of Trade whose whole mission is to ensure that we have open markets, to provide proteins, and produce, will only make our rural economy that much stronger.”
The creation of the undersecretary position was mandated in the 2014 Farm Bill, but ignored by the Obama Administration. Aderholt says he’s encouraged by the Trump Administration’s decision to make the position a reality.
“I am encouraged that one of Secretary Perdue’s first acts is to establish this new Under Secretary,” Aderholt added. “This position will raise the profile of the American economy’s agricultural sector and focus on promoting American goods overseas.”
The USDA reorganization will also elevate the Rural Development agencies to report directly to the secretary of agriculture in recognition of the need to help promote rural prosperity.
“The economic health of small towns across America is crucial to the future of the agriculture economy. It is my commitment to always argue for the needs of rural America, which is why we are elevating Rural Development within USDA,” said Perdue. “No doubt, the opportunity we have here at the USDA in rural development is unmatched.”
Watch Perdue’s announcement below: