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Notice

Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade and the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade; Reestablishment, Establishment, and Nominations

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AGENCY:

Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. II), notice is hereby given that the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary), after consultation with the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), intends to reestablish the Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) for Trade and the five existing Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees (ATAC) for Trade; and establish a new ATAC for Trade in Processed Foods. The Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is requesting nominations for persons to serve on these seven committees.

DATES:

Written nominations must be received by FAS before the close of business on April 4, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Nominations must be hand-delivered (including FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc.) to the Legislative Affairs Office, Foreign Agricultural Service, USDA, Room 5065-S, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Inquiries or comments regarding the establishment or reestablishment of these committees can also be sent by electronic mail to LegAffairs@fas.usda.gov, or by fax to (202) 720-8097 or (202) 720-5936. The Legislative Affairs Office can be contacted by telephone at (202) 720-7829, with inquiries directed to Chanda Beckman or Tanya Fariña.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Introduction

The APAC and the ATACs are authorized by sections 135(c)(1) and (2) of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (Pub. L. No. 93-618, 19 U.S.C. 2155). The purpose of these committees is to advise the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) concerning agricultural trade policy. The committees are intended to ensure that representative elements of the private sector have an opportunity to express their views to the U.S. Government.

Rechartering of Existing Committees and Establishment of New Committees

Pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix), the FAS gives notice that the Secretary and the USTR intend to reestablish the APAC and the following five ATACs:

  • Animals and Animal products;
  • Fruits and Vegetables;
  • Grains, Feed, and Oilseeds;
  • Sweeteners and Sweetener Products; and
  • Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts, and Planting Seeds.

FAS also gives notice that the Secretary and the USTR intend to establish a new ATAC for Processed Foods.

In 1974, Congress established a private sector advisory committee system to ensure that U.S. trade policy and negotiation objectives adequately reflect U.S. commercial and economic interests. The private sector advisory committee system currently consists of three tiers:

  • The President's Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy Negotiations;
  • Five general policy advisory committees, including the APAC and;
  • 28 technical advisory committees, including the ATAC for Processed Foods.

The establishment and renewal of such committees is in the public interest in connection with the duties of the USDA imposed by the Trade Act of 1974, as amended.

Committee Membership Information

  • All committee members are appointed by the Secretary and the USTR, and serve at the discretion of the Secretary and the USTR.
  • Committee size will be limited up to approximately 35 members each.
  • All committee appointments will expire in 2 years, but the Secretary and USTR may renew an appointment for one or more additional terms.
  • All committee members must be U.S. citizens.
  • To attend certain meetings, committee members must have a current security clearance or have submitted an application for a security clearance.
  • Committee members serve without compensation; they are not reimbursed for their travel expenses.
  • No person can serve on more than one USDA advisory committee at the same time.

General Committee Information

  • Each committee has a chairperson, who his elected from the membership of that committee.
  • All committee meetings will be held in Washington, DC.
  • Committee meetings will be open to the public, unless the USTR determines that a committee will be discussing issues that justify closing a meeting or portions of a meeting, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(c).
  • In addition to their other advisory responsibilities, all committees are required to meet at the conclusion of negotiations of any trade agreement, and to provide a report on each agreement to the President, Congress, and the USTR.

Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade

The APAC is composed of a broad spectrum of agricultural interests. The APAC provides advice concerning:

  • Negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before the U.S. enters into a trade agreement;
  • The operation of various U.S. trade agreements; and
  • Other matters arising from the administration of U.S. trade policy.

Agricultural Technical Advisory Committees for Trade

The ATACs provide advice and information regarding trade issues which affect both domestic and foreign production in their commodities, drawing upon the technical competence and experience of its members. There will be six ATACs, one for each of the following sectors:

  • Animals and Animal Products;
  • Fruits and Vegetables;
  • Grains, Feed, and Oilseeds;Start Printed Page 13666
  • Processed Foods;
  • Sweeteners and Sweetener Products; and
  • Tobacco, Cotton, Peanuts, and Planting Seeds.

Nominations and Appointment of Members

Nominations for APAC and ATAC membership are open to all individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap, marital status, or sexual orientation. To ensure that the recommendations of the committees take into account the needs of the diverse groups served by the USDA, membership shall include, to the extent practicable, individuals with demonstrated ability to represent minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.

Members are appointed primarily for their expertise and knowledge of agricultural trade as it relates to policy and commodity specific products. No person, company, producer, farm organization, trade association, or other entity has a right to membership on a committee. In making appointments, every effort will be made to maintain balanced representation on the committees: representation from producers, farm and commodity organizations, processors, traders, and consumers. Geographical balance on each committee will also be sought.

Nominees to the new ATAC for processed foods should represent a company or trade association of companies engaged in the production and/or trade of processed or value-added food, pet food, or beverage products at the retail, distribution, or processor level, and have knowledge of the effects that various trade barriers (including technical barriers to trade) can have on the products they represent. Each nominee representing a trade association should represent a membership comprised largely of processed food companies and/or companies engaged in the trade of processed or value-added products. All nominees should be recognized leaders in their fields, and be able to defend those interests fully and professionally. Processed products, according to the International Trade Commission's report Processed Foods and Beverages: A Description of Tariff and Non-tariff Barriers for Major Products and Their Impact on Trade, “generally include food and beverage products that have some degree of value-added through processing beyond any minimal first-stage processing (e.g., grading, sorting, washing) and either (i) can be directly consumed as a food or beverage product, either immediately or with minimal preparation, or (ii) can be directly used as an input in the production of a food or beverage product without significant further processing.”

Nominations: Nominating a person to serve on any of the committees requires submission of a current resume for the nominee and the following form:

In addition, FAS encourages the submission of the optional form AD-1086 (Applicant for Advisory Committees Supplemental Sheet), available on the Internet at www.fas.usda.gov/​admin/​ad1086.pdf. Forms can also be requested by phone at (202) 720-6829.

Foreign Firms: Persons who are employed by firms that are 50 percent plus one share foreign-owned must state the extent to which the organization or interest to be represented by the nominee is owned by non-U.S. citizens, organizations, or interests. If the nominee is to represent an entity or corporation with 10 percent or greater non-U.S. ownership, the nominee must demonstrate at the time of nomination that this ownership interest does not constitute control and will not adversely affect his or her ability to serve as an advisor on the U.S. agriculture advisory committee for trade.

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Issued at Washington, DC this 18th day of March, 2003.

A. Ellen Terpstra,

Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-6794 Filed 3-19-03; 8:45 am]

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