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Washington, D.C. – United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk today announced that Sharon Bomer Lauritsen will join USTR in early May as the new Assistant United States Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs and Commodity Policy.
“Sharon will bring a great perspective to USTR with her extensive background in the agriculture sector,” said Ambassador Kirk. “Taking a leadership role on our strong agricultural affairs team, Sharon will be a great boost to our efforts to address the issues that America’s farmers and ranchers currently face as we look to increase our exports and bring jobs back home.”
Prior to coming to USTR, Sharon served as the Executive Vice President of the Food and Agriculture Section at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). While there she lead and managed BIO’s Food and Agriculture Section on public policy activities. Among them included overseeing relationships with a wide range of international, federal, state and local entities.
In addition, Sharon previously served as Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Agricultural Affairs as well as a senior manager in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service. Early in her career, she was Director of Government Affairs for United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association and has worked for a Member of Congress in the United States House of Representatives.
The Office of Agricultural Affairs has overall responsibility for negotiations and policy coordination regarding agriculture. Responsibilities of the office include Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and World Trade Organization (WTO) Development Agenda (Doha) negotiations on agriculture, operation of the WTO Committees on Agriculture and on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures. Additionally, the Office of Agricultural Affairs is responsible for agricultural regulatory issues, including biotechnology, animal cloning and customs issues affecting the agriculture industry, the monitoring and enforcement of existing WTO and FTA commitments for agriculture, and WTO accession negotiations on agriculture market access.