Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting nominations to re-establish the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC) and six Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade (ATACs).

"USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative rely heavily on the individuals who serve on these committees to provide their expert advice on U.S. trade policy and priorities," said Vilsack. "They will be an invaluable asset as we work to deliver economic and strategic trade benefits and opportunities to America's farmers and ranchers as we work toward doubling U.S. exports as part of the President's National Export Initiative."

The private sector advisory system was established by Congress in 1974 to ensure that U.S. trade policy and negotiation objectives reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The system's three tiers consist of the President's Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy Negotiations, five general policy advisory committees (including APAC), and 22 technical advisory committees (including six ATACs).