He says, “This is a very, very, very complicated issue that you’ve presented to us. It doesn’t just involve setting up an undersecretary of trade. It really does require a look at all equities within the USDA and outside the USDA relative to trade and there are a multitude of equities.”
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In 2014, the Farm Bill mandated mandated the creation of a new office of an Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.
The Department of Agriculture is now trying to finish up a study before the Obama Administration leaves office.
Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts asked about the status of it to Secretary Tom Vilsack in a hearing, saying the report is now nearly two years late and could be key to passing trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Vilsack says the farm bill needed two studies and they have been working on making sure there is no overlapping or competing jurisdictions in the USDA, which is key to creating a new undersecretary post.