Biden Admin Nominates New USDA Trade Under Secretary

Alexis Taylor, headshot
Alexis Taylor
May 16, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Last Friday, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Alexis Taylor as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs (TFAA), overseeing the Foreign Agricultural Service and working closely with the USDA’s Codex Office.  The TFAA Under Secretary is a key advisor to the Secretary, to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), and agricultural stakeholders to ensure that industry concerns are being represented in trade discussions and negotiations.

Taylor has served as the appointed Director of Agriculture for the State of Oregon since December 2016.  Prior to that role, she spent several years as the USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, the mission area that preceded the creation of TFAA.  Before joining USDA, Taylor worked for several U.S. Members of Congress.

Taylor is an Iowa State alumna and was raised on her family’s farm in Iowa.  While still in high school, she enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves and her sophomore year in college, her army unit was deployed to Iraq, where she served with the 389th Combat Engineer Battalion.

“USA Rice has worked with Alexis before in her previous roles and we are excited for her to be nominated to this critical position,” said USA Rice President & CEO Betsy Ward.  “We have been saying for more than a year that the Administration needs to fill this top spot because trade deals around the world are moving forward and U.S. agriculture is being left behind.  USA Rice strongly encourages the Senate to take up her nomination and confirm her quickly so U.S. ag can get back in the game.”

Taylor will have to be formally nominated by the White House, followed by a confirmation hearing by the Senate Agriculture Committee, and will then need to be affirmatively voted out of the Committee and by the full Senate before taking the helm of the TFAA mission area.  There is currently no nominee for the role of the Chief Agriculture Negotiator at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.