Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is set to announce the first major reorganization of the USDA since 1994. The restructuring is set to take effect this June, and congressional approval is not required. Under the plan, the office of Undersecretary for Rural Development will be abolished, and the office of Rural Development will report directly to Secretary Perdue.
This restructuring places greater importance on foreign trade. The changes will create the new position of Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs that was enacted in the 2014 farm bill but never appointed by the Obama Administration.
A USDA spokesman said the plan is “a down payment” on President Trump’s executive order for agencies to propose a more efficient and smaller government.
“Rather than simply add an eighth undersecretary, the department is remaking responsibilities”, Perdue wrote in an op-ed to the Wall Street Journal. “The result will be the same number of positions, but an overall organization that is better aligned and more consistent in its approach.”
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