Statement from NCBA President Bill Donald Regarding President Obama’s Proposed Consolidation of Trade Agencies
WASHINGTON – “The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) supports the administration’s recognition of the need to improve government efficiency and eliminate wasteful spending. However, precautions must be in place to avoid unintended consequences.
“NCBA has strong concerns about President Obama’s proposal to merge the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) with other trade agencies. NCBA maintains that USTR should remain an independent agency within the Executive Office of the President, focusing on trade negotiations, trade agreements and trade enforcement. USTR is vital to ensuring successful trade negotiations concerning U.S. beef and other agricultural commodities with our global trade partners. USTR must be in a position to have direct access to the White House.
“By being an independent office within the White House, USTR serves an important role reducing trade barriers and advocating for free and fair trade for all sectors of the U.S. economy. USTR has played a crucial role in expanding exports of U.S. beef by ensuring the passage of free trade agreements and working to achieve science-based trade protocols.
“NCBA is extremely concerned that USTR’s ability to continue its effectiveness will be jeopardized if it is wrapped into the massive Department of Commerce. NCBA has a strong history of working closely with USTR on behalf of the beef industry. We strongly support the continuation of the current structure and functions of USTR.”