Vetter to speak in Little Rock on Trans-Pacific Partnership

U.S. chief ag trade negotiator to speak at Bowen law school March 29. Darci Vetter to discuss proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Event is free, open to the public.

The nation’s chief agricultural trade negotiator, Darci Vetter, will speak March 29 in Little Rock about the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The TPP is a 12-country pact that, if approved by Congress, would be the largest free trade agreement in U.S. history.

Darci Vetter

Vetter’s talk is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Friday Courtroom of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. It will be followed by a question-and-answer panel discussion that’s expected to include Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, and should wrap up at 3 p.m. The event is co-hosted by the National Agricultural Law Center, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a high priority consideration for agriculture in Arkansas and across the nation, and we are very fortunate to have Ambassador Vetter here to discuss TPP and its impact to the agricultural sector,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center. “It could be pivotal in states like Arkansas whose economies are driven by ag.”

Vetter is a strong advocate for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, with both economic and strategic significance for the United States. The partnership contains measures to lower trade barriers such as tariffs and establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.

Those included in the regional trade pact include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Critics of the agreement have voiced concerns about environmental protections and intellectual property rights.

Vetter is a former USDA deputy under secretary who oversaw the department's international activities. She had key responsibilities in international trade negotiations and export assistance programs, and coordinated USDA's role in international food aid. She also played a leadership role in several international economic development and trade capacity building programs.

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