WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, a member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, today applauded U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to create a new Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs within the USDA. This announcement follows Senator Ernst’s questioning during Secretary Perdue’s confirmation hearing in which the Senator asked that he establish this role pursuant to provisions in the 2014 Farm Bill. Following today’s announcement, Senator Ernst issued the following statement:

“I’m thrilled that USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced the creation of a new Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

“The 2014 Farm Bill recognized the importance of trade, and Congress directed the USDA to establish an undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs. During his confirmation hearing, I asked Secretary Perdue to take a look at that and make sure that we put the right person for that job in place.

“Today, Secretary Perdue made good on his commitment, and through this move, he acknowledged how vital trade is to our farmers and ranchers, and that he is prepared to step up and fight for their interests.

“Additionally, as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, I was encouraged to see Secretary Perdue elevate the Rural Development agencies to report directly to him, further highlighting his commitment to the rural communities that are the backbone of our nation.”

Click here to watch Senator Ernst’s remarks during the confirmation hearing.