Darci Vetter confirmed to speak at USGC summer annual meeting

Farm Forum

International trade policy, and current developments in agricultural trade with China, will be in the spotlight as Darci Vetter addresses the U.S. Grains Council’s 54th Annual Board of Delegates Meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, July 28-30, 2014.

Helping implement the North American Free Trade Agreement, resolving agricultural trade issues with Canada and Mexico, and participating in the World Trade Organization Doha Round negotiations are among the highlights of Vetter’s distinguished career at senior levels of U.S. trade policy. With trade policy service in both the Clinton and Obama administrations and in the U.S. Senate as a senior staffer for the Senate Finance Committee, she has been a consistent advocate for expanding U.S. agricultural exports. Currently USDA deputy under secretary for farm and foreign agricultural services, Vetter was nominated last December for chief agricultural negotiator for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Vetter’s nomination was approved by the Senate Finance Committee in May and is now awaiting approval from the full Senate.

In Omaha, Vetter’s insights will be followed by an expert discussion about the recent disruptions in U.S. distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS) exports to China. She will underscore that these types of developments have happened before, and that continued engagement with China is necessary.

“Darci’s insights into this emerging powerhouse’s trade policy will leave attendees with an in-depth understanding of the issue at hand,” said USGC Chairman Julius Schaaf.

During the 2013 calendar year, China produced 217.7 million metric tons of corn (8.6 billion bushels), yet imported 3.3 million tons (130 million bushels) of corn, 4 million tons of DDGS and 1.1 million tons (43.3 million bushels) of sorghum valued at more than $2.5 billion in total, nearly all of which was from the United States.

“After 30 years of at or near double digit economic growth, China’s capacity to continue increasing domestic corn and feed grain production is believed to be below projected consumption growth,” Schaaf said. “This means that trade disruptions, while costly to U.S. producers and exporters, are more costly to end-users in China and, ultimately, most costly to consumers in China.”

Register today for the Council’s summer annual meeting to learn more about this fast-moving situation impacting trade.