WASHINGTON, DC, US — US President Joe Biden announced on Sept. 14 that he intends to nominate Elaine Trevino as chief agricultural negotiator in the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Trevino, president of the Almond Alliance of California, was deputy secretary at the California Department of Food and Agriculture under both Republican and Democrat governors. She was responsible for the oversight of the international export and trade programs and specialty crop block grant funding, among other duties.

She currently serves on the Agriculture Department’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee.

“As the leader of an organization that advocates for California’s leading agricultural exports, Elaine understands tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and the importance of maintaining America’s strong trade agreements and global positioning,” the White House said in the announcement.

Several industry groups said they welcomed the nomination. The American Feed Industry Association said Trevino is “a much-needed voice for agricultural trade concerns within the USTR and the White House.”

“Elaine Trevino’s experience with the almond industry — an industry heavily reliant on exports — from the United States’ largest exporting state, makes her an ideal candidate for representing and advocating on behalf of US agricultural interests to expand export opportunities and maintain US competitiveness in the global marketplace,” said Constance Cullman, president and chief executive officer of the AFIA. “We look forward to working with Ms. Trevino to leverage opportunities to create new trade agreements, tackle trade barriers and open new markets for the US animal food industry.”

Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, expressed similar sentiments.

“Opportunities to create new trade agreements with the European Union and Great Britain as well as expanding the China phase one agreement make filling this position with the most qualified person extremely important,” Duvall said. “We look forward to working with Ms. Trevino to help ensure a level playing field and to create new avenues for farmers and ranchers to feed the world.”