ARLINGTON, Va., March 12, 2019 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) this week urged Senate Agriculture Committee leaders to confirm Heath Tarbert as the next chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
“Dr. Tarbert would bring a deep background in financial regulation, along with experience holding important leadership posts in the private and public sector,” said the NGFA and 24 other agricultural groups in a March 1 letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. “He has earned a reputation as a leader known for his integrity, professionalism, fairness, expertise and collaboration, which are all important attributes to being a strong leader at the CFTC.”
The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Tarbert in 2017 to serve as assistant secretary of the treasury for international markets. In this role, he worked extensively with the European Commission and Parliament to include language in their recently proposed legislation to strengthen financial stability while advancing home regulatory deference so that U.S. end-users are not subject to conflicting regimes, the letter noted.
While Tarbert’s background is primarily in the financial sector, the agricultural groups said he has committed to working with the agriculture sector. “Additionally, in our meetings with him, it is clear that Dr. Tarbert has made the effort to learn about agricultural markets and our use of futures and other derivatives products,” the letter noted.
Tarbert “will strike the right balance in providing input into CFTC’s oversight of the financial and commodity markets,” the NGFA and other agricultural groups wrote. “This includes providing for reduced systemic risk, ensuring market integrity and regulatory consistency, while also considering the important role these markets play in the ability of farmers, ranchers, and agribusinesses to hedge their risks efficiently and effectively.”
Tarbert’s nomination is scheduled to be considered by the Senate committee in April.
The NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. The NGFA also consists of 34 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.