MEMPHIS - National Cotton Council Chairman Woods Eastland welcomed the announcement that President Bush has nominated Dr. Richard T. Crowder to serve as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR).
Eastland pointed to Dr. Crowder’s extensive background in the private sector and his experience at USDA when he served as Under Secretary for International Affairs and Commodity Programs from 1989-1992. He also noted that U.S. agriculture has major issues to be resolved in the Doha Round negotiations.
“Dr. Crowder’s experience in business and government will allow him to step in at a critical time and to provide valuable insight to Ambassador Portman,” Eastland said. "Dr. Crowder’s predecessor, Ambassador Allen Johnson, did an outstanding job presenting U.S. agriculture’s position at the WTO, during negotiations leading to the CAFTA and in ensuring that markets were open to U.S. exports.
“In addition to the immediate challenges Dr. Crowder and U.S. negotiators must address during the Doha negotiations, we also urge Dr. Crowder to redouble USTR’s efforts to ensure that critically important markets like China remain fully open to U.S. cotton exports. We also urge him to maintain the position that the Doha Round negotiations are a single-undertaking and that no commodity can be singled out for early harvest or differential treatment.”
Eastland said the NCC looks forward to working with Dr. Crowder and urges Congress to confirm his nomination at the earliest possible date.