C. Manly Moplus, president and CEO of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, was appointed yesterday to the United States Department of Agriculture and the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee for Trade (APAC).

“It is a great honor to be asked by Secretary Veneman and Ambassador Zoellick to serve on this important panel,” said Molpus. “This is clear recognition by the administration that the processed food and beverage industry is an integral and growing part of the agriculture sector and a key export gateway for American farmers and ranchers.”

APAC was created by Congress as part of the Trade Act of 1974. The committee is charged with recommending objectives and options to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Trade Representative concerning United States trade policy.

As a member of APAC, Molpus will be called upon to provide information and advice with respect to negotiating objectives and bargaining positions before the United States enters into new trade agreements. Committee members are also asked to advise the Secretary and the Ambassador on the operation and administration of existing trade agreements.

“New trade deals such as the Free Trade Area of the Americas and a new round of World Trade Organization talks will help slash import taxes imposed on American products around the world,” noted Molpus. “These agreements are critical for the food and beverage industry, as our industry’s products comprise more than 40 percent of the dollar value of American agricultural exports.”

GMA is the world’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 44 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.

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