An Indian American has been appointed as the chief agriculture negotiator of the United States, who would carry out all critical negotiations for the country in the crucial Doha round and other bilateral discussions.
Welcoming Islam A. Siddiqui as Chief Agricultural Negotiator, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk yesterday said Dr. Siddiqui brings to this office incredible agricultural expertise built over years of work in both government and private sectors.
Speaking on Dr. Siddiqui, Mr. Kirk said “(he) can be counted on to stand up for American farmers, ranchers, and families in all our negotiations — from the Doha round talks to bilateral discussions.”
Currently serving as a consultant to the USTR, Dr. Siddiqui formerly served as Vice President for Science and Regulatory Affairs at CropLife America, where he was responsible for regulatory and international trade issues related to crop protection chemicals.
“If we want to double American exports in the next five years, we have to seize every opportunity to grow agricultural exports, as well as exports of goods and services. Isi (Dr. Islam Siddiqui) is going to make sure we don’t leave any of those opportunities on the table,” Mr. Kirk said.
Previously, the Indian American also served as CropLife America’s Vice President for agricultural biotechnology and trade.
From 1997 to 2001, Dr. Siddiqui served in various capacities in the Clinton Administration at U.S. Department of Agriculture as Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Senior Trade Advisor to Secretary Dan Glickman and Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
As a result, he worked closely with the USTR and represented USDA in bilateral, regional and multilateral agricultural trade negotiations, an official statement said.
From 2004 to 2009, Dr. Siddiqui served on the US Department of Commerce’s Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, and Health/Science Products & Services, which advises the US Secretary of Commerce and USTR on international trade issues related to these sectors.
Between 2001 and 2003, Dr. Siddiqui was appointed as Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he focused on agricultural biotechnology and food security issues.
Before joining USDA, he spent 28 years with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Dr. Siddiqui received a BS degree in plant protection from Uttar Pradesh Agricultural University in Pantnagar, India, as well as MS and PhD degrees in plant pathology, both from the University of Illinois at Champaign—Urbana.