WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Many U.S. agriculture associations are urging the U.S. Senate to confirm Heath Tarbert as the next chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
“Dr. Tarbert would bring a deep background in financial regulation, along with experience holding important leadership posts in the private and public sector,” said the NGFA and 24 other agricultural groups in a June 3 letter to Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader and Chuck Schumer, Senate minority leader. “He has earned a reputation as a leader known for his integrity, professionalism, fairness, expertise and collaboration, which are all important attributes to being a strong leader at the CFTC.”
Tarbert was designated acting undersecretary for international affairs on April 16. Prior to his designation, he was assistant secretary for international markets since Oct. 10, 2017. In the role of acting undersecretary, he will advance U.S. interests in multilateral organizations on financial stability and regulatory issues, while promoting growth, negotiating trade agreements, and advocating for standards that level the playing field for U.S. firms.
As the assistant secretary for international markets he worked with the European Commission and Parliament to include language in recently proposed legislation to strengthen financial stability while advancing home regulatory deference so that U.S. end-users are not subject to conflicting regimes, the letter noted.
While Tarbert’s background is primarily in the financial sector, the agricultural groups said he has committed to working with the agriculture sector.
“Additionally, in our meetings with him, it is clear that Dr. Tarbert has made the effort to learn about agricultural markets and our use of futures and other derivatives products,” the letter noted.
Tarbert “will strike the right balance in providing input into CFTC’s oversight of the financial and commodity markets,” the NGFA and other agricultural groups wrote. “This includes providing for reduced systemic risk, ensuring market integrity and regulatory consistency, while also considering the important role these markets play in the ability of farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to hedge their risks efficiently and effectively.”
The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved Tarbert’s nomination earlier this year.