WASHINGTON – Dr. C. Parr Rosson III, professor of agricultural economics at Texas A&M University and economist with Texas Cooperative Extension, has been appointed to a two-year term on the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in grains, feed and oilseeds. USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman and U.S. Trade Representative Robert B. Zoellick announced the private sector appointees to seven agricultural trade advisory committees recently.

"The future of U.S. agriculture hinges on our success in the international marketplace," Veneman said. "The members of the committees provide expertise and unique knowledge of the latest trade trends in the food and agricultural sector to assist with the development of effective negotiating objectives."

Rosson also serves as the director of the Center for North American Studies, which provides analysis and outreach related to trade policies affecting the United States, Mexico and Canada.

He has recently completed studies on NAFTA, U.S. agricultural exports to Cuba and the impacts of expanded irrigation water use in Mexico. Rosson is the co-chair of the agribusiness and fisheries committee of the Border Trade Alliance, which has worked to facilitate trade in a post-9/11 environment. The alliance provides analysis to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on threats to U.S. food security and by implementing more secure borders and improving the efficiency of international commerce.

"American agriculture has provided critical support for our agenda of opening markets and expanding opportunities around the world, because when American farmers can compete fairly, they win," Zoellick said.

"Coordinating with our agriculture community will continue to be important as the tempo of negotiations for global, regional and bilateral trade agreements intensifies," he said.

"We must have the best possible advice and consultation as negotiations for the World Trade Organization’s Doha Development Agenda, the Free Trade Area of the Americas and our free trade agreement talks with Central America, Morocco, the Southern African Customs Union and Australia proceed."

Congress established these advisory committees in 1974 to ensure a private sector voice in establishing U.S. trade policy and trade negotiation objectives. Agricultural products face extensive barriers in foreign markets including tariffs and non-tariff measures. U.S. exports of high-value products have increased and are expected to continue to be a significant factor in agricultural trade, USDA officials said.

"The advisory committees play an important role in expanding access for U.S. food and agricultural products in overseas markets, and reducing unfair competition, by providing technical advice and information," Rosson said.

e-mail:bpryor@primediabusiness.com