USTR's Office of Agricultural Affairs is the U.S. Government lead for agricultural trade negotiations and the development and coordination of U.S. agricultural trade policy. Staff work with the USTR’s Chief Agricultural Negotiator to remove trade barriers for U.S. agricultural exports, and collaborate with colleagues across the U.S. Government, particularly the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)to advance U.S. trade interests.
Office responsibilities include: the negotiation, implementation, and enforcement of agricultural provisions in U.S. free trade agreements and agricultural issues at the World Trade Organization (WTO), including the Agreement on Agriculture and the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Measures; worldwide coverage of foreign agricultural markets; allocation of the U.S. tariff-rate quota for sugar; WTO accession negotiations on market access for agricultural products, domestic support, export competition, and SPS matter; and agricultural regulatory issues (e.g., biotechnology, new breeding technologies, animal and plant health issues, and customs-related issues affecting agriculture, etc.).
The office monitors implementation of Farm Bill programs to ensure consistency with international obligations at the WTO and is responsible for trade policy coordination of U.S. activities in agriculture-related committees of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The office also collaborates with USDA to engage with stakeholders through the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC).