( File photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative are seeking nominations for six trade advisory committees, including one for the fruit and vegetable industry.

The Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for fruits and vegetables offers insights on trade issues to federal agencies, according to a news release from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

 “Hearing the diverse views of our agricultural experts helps us formulate trade strategy and keep American exports growing,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in the release. “Committee members serve an invaluable role to help enact trade agreements and trade policies that benefit America’s farmers, ranchers and rural America.”

The ATACs provide technical advice and guidance on trade issue, according to the release.

“With around 20% of farm income derived from exports, it is critical that we get advice from the American food and agriculture community to ensure we are negotiating the best deals possible,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in the release. “Our farmers, ranchers, and food manufacturers and workers can compete against anyone in overseas markets, and input from our stakeholders can help guide President Trump’s trade strategy in opening these markets.”

Committee members serve four-year terms. They meet in Washington, D.C., about twice a year, according to the release. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. Eastern March 1. For additional information and an application, visit www.fas.usda.gov/ATACs or e-mail ATACs@fas.usda.gov.

 
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