USTR, USDA Announce Appointments to Advisory Committee

Clint ThompsonFlorida, Georgia, USDA

WASHINGTON – The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced appointments to the newly established Seasonal and Perishable Agricultural Products Advisory Committee. 

Chris Butts

Members from Georgia and Florida were selected to the committee, including Chris Butts, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Mike Joyner, president of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

USTR and USDA established the committee to provide advice and recommendations on measures to promote the competitiveness of producers of seasonal and perishable produce in the Southeast. The committee members will offer expertise in areas such as growing and selling seasonal and perishable agricultural products and the needs and market dynamics affecting producers of seasonal and perishable agricultural products in the Southeastern United States. 

Mike Joyner

The establishment of this committee comes after Members of Congress requested an examination of issues in a September 8, 2022, Section 301 petition, and follows the October 23, 2022, USTR announcement that, in coordination with USDA, it would pursue avenues to assist the Southeastern producers.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting specialty crop growers through this committee, as well as efforts such as USDA’s Specialty Crops Competitiveness Initiative, which is providing tools and resources to increase the competitiveness of U.S. specialty crops in foreign markets, enhance domestic marketing and improve production and processing practices. USTR and USDA will collaborate with the committee and Congress to develop possible administrative actions and legislation that would provide real benefits to Southeastern seasonal and perishable agricultural producers. 

A complete roster of the committee members can be found here: Seasonal and Perishable Agricultural Products Advisory Committee | United States Trade Representative (