Office of the United States Trade Representative


USTR Portman Thanks Senate for Swift Confirmation of Richard Crowder

United States Trade Representative Rob Portman today thanked the United States Senate for their swift action on the nomination of Richard Crowder as USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator.

"Trade is critical to U.S. agriculture because the produce from one of every three acres grown in the U.S. is exported," Amb. Portman said. "Dick’s experience and background give him a unique understanding of domestic and international agricultural issues. His input will be crucial in helping to unlock the agricultural deadlock at the WTO and advancing the work that began last week in Hong Kong. I look forward to working with him on these critical agricultural issues and I thank the Senate for this swift confirmation."

Dr. Crowder will be responsible for directing all U.S. agricultural trade negotiations anywhere in the world, including multilaterally in the World Trade Organization, as well as regionally and bilaterally.

Dr. Crowder has more than 30 years experience in the food, agriculture, and international trade industries. He has been president and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association, Alexandria, Va., since 2002.

Prior to joining ASTA, he worked as an independent consultant. From 1984-1999 he was Senior Vice President, International, of DEKALB Genetics Corporation (now part of Monsanto), a worldwide leader in agricultural genetics and seed biotechnology that markets hybrid corn, sorghum and sunflower seed as well as varietal soybean and alfalfa. In this role he managed all of DEKALB's business outside of the United States involving more than 30 countries.

Before joining DEKALB in 1994, Dr. Crowder was Executive Vice President and General Manager, International of meat processor Armour Swift-Eckrich, a division of ConAgra. From 1975-89, he worked at the Pillsbury Company in a series of increasingly responsible senior executive positions.

He served as Under Secretary of International Affairs & Commodity Programs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1989-1992. In this role, he was responsible for all agencies concerned with international trade and development as well as domestic farm programs. He had leadership roles in major trade negotiations and the 1990 Farm Bill.

Dr. Crowder, who grew up on a farm in Virginia, has a B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University.


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