Public Statements & Remarks

Opening Statement of Commissioner Caroline D. Pham before the Agricultural Advisory Committee

December 07, 2022

It is a pleasure to speak to you for today’s meeting of the Agricultural Advisory Committee.  I thank committee sponsor Chairman Behnam and Designated Federal Officer Brigitte Weyls for bringing everyone together to talk about these important topics.  I also welcome the committee’s new and returning members.

During my visits to our key international partners and markets trading hubs, I have made it a point to understand the United States’ major agricultural exports and trade priorities.  I’ve also learned about the significant challenges that commodity markets face in the aftermath of the pandemic like labor shortages and shipping constraints.  It reminds me more than ever that the United States is founded on an agricultural economy, and agriculture is still a major driver of our economy today.

The Agricultural Advisory Committee holds special meaning for the Commission given its roots in a time when most futures trading took place in the agricultural sector.  It’s hard to believe that it has been over 150 years since boards of trade were formed for grain trading.[1]  Just like the United States, agriculture is where this agency began.  It is where we come from.  And it remains at the heart of our agency today.

Today’s program reflects how important agricultural derivatives remain to our market participants in the face of varied and dynamic uncertainties.  Geopolitical and weather events continue to impact commodity production and prices during a time of supply shocks and high inflation.  Russia’s war on Ukraine, government sanctions, and droughts have affected agriculture in different ways that make output more difficult and expensive, including the cost of energy and production of fertilizer.[2]

Being able to hedge risks in deep and liquid derivatives markets has been and is a cornerstone of the CFTC’s purpose.  I look forward to your work on how the CFTC can most effectively engage with the agricultural community and address your needs.

As a Commissioner, I wake up every day proud to serve you and the public.  I want to share my gratitude to all of you here for your service as well by bringing your expertise and experience to these critical issues.  Thank you.

[2] Emiko Terazono & Valentina Romei, War and Adverse Weather Set to Keep Food Prices High, The Financial Times, (Dec. 4, 2022),