WASHINGTON — President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Islam A. Siddiqui as the Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, an agency critical to the health and profitability of the U.S. pork industry, is being praised by the National Pork Producers Council. Developing and coordinating U.S. international trade, commodity and direct investment policy, as well as overseeing trade talks with other countries, are included in U.S.T.R.’s overall mission.
"We’re pleased to see someone with such a strong agriculture background as Siddiqui nominated for this post," said Don Butler, N.P.P.C. president. "He’s a tough negotiator and is inheriting a lot of agricultural trade issues, with pork issues in China and Russia at the top of the list."
Currently serving as vice-president for science and regulatory affairs at CropLife America, Mr. Siddiqui is a prominent American agricultural scientist. His agriculture background goes back to the California Department of Food and Agriculture where he spent 28 years before serving in various capacities in the Clinton Administration at U.S.D.A. as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Senior Trade Advisor to Secretary Dan Glickman and Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
While at U.S.D.A. during the Clinton Administration, N.P.P.C. worked closely with Mr. Siddiqui. "Siddiqui is tough as nails and is the kind of person you want to go to battle with. We look forward to working with him again," said Nick Giordano, N.P.P.C. vice-president and counsel for International Trade Policy.
The U.S. pork industry is the number-one exporter of pork products in the world, providing low cost, high-quality pork to consumers in 100 countries in any given year, N.P.P.C. relays.
"This is a very critical time for the pork industry and we need to continue to fight hard to gain market access around the world and maintain it," Mr. Butler said. "N.P.P.C. congratulates President Obama on a great choice, and we look forward to working his trade team on the many trade issues affecting the U.S. pork industry."