Statement from Representative Panetta on Elaine Trevino’s Nomination to Serve as USTR Chief Agriculture Negotiator

September 14, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) released the following statement after President Biden announced his intent to nominate Elaine Trevino as the Chief Agriculture Negotiator for United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai.  In June, Reps. Panetta and Jodey Arrington (R-TX) led a group of House Ways and Means Committee members in sending a letter to President Biden requesting that he nominate a Chief Agricultural Negotiator.

“I welcome the President’s nomination of Elaine Trevino to be Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the Office of the United States Trade Representative, a role critical to the success of agriculture producers on the central coast of California. I am especially pleased that he has chosen a Californian and someone with extensive knowledge of specialty crops.  Ms. Trevino has been a champion for California agriculture, and understands the critical trade issues that face crops on the central coast of California.  Ms. Trevino will fight for open markets and against non-tariff barriers, making sure that Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures imposed by our partners are based on sound science.”

“I also want to thank the Administration for this nomination following my letter to President Biden that requested this position be created.  The challenges agriculture producers on the Central Coast face highlight the need for this role to be filled without delay, and I am hopeful that Ms. Trevino will be quickly confirmed by the Senate.”

Elaine Trevino is the President of the Almond Alliance of California (AAC), a trade association that advocates for its members on issues such as food safety, international trade, crop protection, and worker safety.  During her time as a Deputy Secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Trevino demonstrated an aptitude for promoting specialty crops internationally and ensuring their safety.  This expertise will be critical in addressing continued discriminatory SPS measures, including the threat of surprise non-tariff barriers from even our friends to the North.