Thirty-five years ago, around Thanksgiving, Clayton Yeutter was focused on using American trade laws to negotiate on behalf of the United States for the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. As the U.S. Trade Representative in the Reagan administration, one of his main goals was to make it easier for farmers to buy and sell their products across borders.

Havia demanat als seus assessors que elaboressin un pla perquè els països reduïssin les seves subvencions, tarifes, i barreres d'accés al mercat. Van tornar amb una proposta per reduir-los 50 per cent durant deu anys. Quan van presentar el seu esborrany, Yeutter s'ho va mirar i va ratllar 50 i el va substituir per 100 per cent. As a skilled negotiator, he realized that if you want to get to fifty, has de començar a cent.

Clayton got buy-in from the Secretary of Agriculture, el seu company de gabinet, and the United States set the table for what became one of the most important trade pacts ever negotiated in human history.

This story and many others are included in a new biography that talks about his role in global trade at this point in America’s history. The title, "Rima amb Fighter: Clayton Yeutter estadista americà,” is a reference to what Yeutter would say when a person asked the pronunciation of his last name. He was an extraordinary public servant and statesman whose efforts in support of cross-border business and free trade are still having a positive impact on agriculture and farmers.

Yeutter grew up near the town of Eustis, NE.

Vaig conèixer Clayton en els últims anys de la seva vida. Ens connectem a nivell bàsic: He was a farm boy from Nebraska and I was a farm girl from Iowa. We were both interested in public policy, especially with respect to agriculture. He had worked for four presidents, and I had worked for a governor.

His career was prestigiousafter serving as U.S. Trade Representative under President Reagan, he was Secretary of Agriculture under President George H.W. Bushhe was a busy man whose advise was sought out by many, but he never saw himself as too important or busy for me. Vaig gaudir d'una invitació oberta per veure'l en visites a Washington, D.C., i es va interessar actiu en la Xarxa Global d'Agricultors perquè creia en la missió de la nostra organització dirigida i expressada per agricultors que advoca per millors polítiques comercials i l'accés a la tecnologia basada en la ciència a l'agricultura..

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Al llarg d'uns quants anys i reunions d'esmorzar, es va convertir en un mentor model: a person who shared his experience and advice and expected nothing in return. Mentre es buscava la seva experiència i perspectiva, també van ser moltes notes no sol·licitades i correus electrònics d'ànim d'ell que van proporcionar una subtil i important afirmació del treball i missatges que els agricultors de la Global Farmer Network estaven compartint a nivell mundial..

Clayton Yeutter va morir a 2017, but the book brings him back to life. I can see that broad grin and hear his voice saying: “Hem de liberalitzar el comerç agrícola mundial, perquè els subministraments d'aliments puguin fluir allà on es necessiten. Trade barriers must be made more expensive for countries that resort to them.”

brown wooden boardThis principle was fundamental to his life’s work, as he went on to negotiate trade agreements with Canada, Japó, the European Union, and the whole world. Clayton Yeutter made life better for farmers in his own time and his influence continues to make farmers better off today.

As I prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States with my family this week, I have much to be thankful for. Included in that long list are the mentors I have been privileged to have in my life. And this year, special gratitude for the remarkable legacy and friendship of Clayton Yeutter.