Public Statements & Remarks

Statement of Commissioner Christy Goldsmith Romero Before the Agricultural Advisory Committee, Washington, D.C.

December 14, 2023

Good morning, and a special thank you to the members of our Agricultural Advisory Committee.  I want to thank Chairman Behnam for sponsoring this Committee, the Designated Federal Officer Swati Shah and other staff.  It’s been a big week for meetings at the Commission, but I think we’ve saved the best for last.

I have truly benefited from hearing directly from our agricultural sector about challenges that you are facing.  With each visit that I make, my job is to listen.  You have told me about the on-the-ground experiences that you face, on issues like challenges with transportation, labor, and other input costs.  And I appreciate that many of you have reached out to have a dialogue here in Washington, or on Zoom.  I encourage you to reach out.

In addition to hearing about challenges, I have experienced your pride in what you make, and how important that is to our country, and the world.  It has fascinated me to learn about sorting soybeans because Japanese buyers want uniform color.  And I never knew there was so much to learn about oils.

Importantly, you also drive our economy.  And given that I served at Treasury for 12 years, I always look at situations through the lens of how it relates to our economy.

My highest priority is making sure that derivatives markets work well for you.  Derivatives markets also play a critical role in our economy.  They stabilize prices for the food that we serve our families, and the energy that we use to heat our home.  These markets are a critical tool for farmers and producers to manage risk.

This is the CFTC’s last meeting in 2023, a year where derivatives markets worked well despite geopolitical stresses.  Given our farmers’ and producers’ leading role in global markets, geopolitical events cause volatility and have a very real impact on food and energy prices.  I look forward to the presentation today of the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian War on wheat futures prices from Professor Turvey, and a presentation on global events impacting futures markets from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

We have been monitoring the impact of this war and other global events on our derivatives markets on a daily basis.  I have heard directly from producers who use wheat as well as traders about what they are experiencing with this war.  I monitor the wheat prices every day, and am grateful for the CFTC economists who provide this information and their expertise and insight.  I am also interested to hear more about margining.  I look forward to the presentations and the discussion.  I thank you all for your service to this Commission, and the work that you do to drive our economy.