For the purpose of developing, maintaining, and expanding international markets for United States agricultural commodities, the Secretary of Agriculture, after consultation with the Secretary of State, shall establish not less than six nor more than twenty-five United States Agricultural Trade Offices in other nations.
each 1 United States Agricultural Trade Office shall be directed and administered by an Agricultural Trade Officer who by reason of training, experience, and attainments is qualified to carry out the purposes of this subchapter. Such Officer shall be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.
(c) Appointment and compensation of officers
Each Agricultural Trade Officer may be appointed without regard to the provisions of title 5 governing appointments in the competitive service, and may be paid without regard to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of title 5 relating to classification and General Schedule pay rates, except that no Agricultural Trade Officer (1) may be paid basic pay at a rate in excess of the maximum annual rate of basic pay payable for GS–17 of the General Schedule under section 5332 of such title, or (2) may be paid at a rate in excess of the highest rate paid to an Agricultural Counselor or Attaché, as the case may be, who is appointed under subchapter I of this chapter to the nation in which such Officer is to serve.
(d) Transmittal of information
Each Agricultural Trade Officer shall, through the Agricultural Counselor or Attaché or other senior representative of the Secretary of Agriculture in each nation in which the United States Agricultural Trade Office administered by such Officer exercises its functions, keep the Chief of the United States diplomatic mission fully and currently informed with respect to all activities and operations of such Office.
(e) Office functions and activities
Each Agricultural Trade Officer shall be responsible for the exercise of the functions of the United States Agricultural Trade Office, and shall have the authority to direct and supervise all personnel and activities thereof.
(f) Personnel; employment of local nationals
To carry out the functions of United States Agricultural Trade Offices, the Secretary of Agriculture may appoint such other personnel as the Secretary determines to be necessary and may, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, assign such personnel abroad and employ local nationals for necessary professional and clerical help.
(g) Conflicts of interest
No employee of any United States Agricultural Trade Office may engage in any business, vocation, or other employment, or have other interests, that are inconsistent with official responsibilities.
(h) Diplomatic privileges and immunities
Upon the request of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of State shall request for Agricultural Trade Officers and personnel of United States Agricultural Trade Offices diplomatic privileges and immunities equivalent to those enjoyed by members of the Foreign Service of comparable rank and salary.
AMENDMENTS 1980—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 96–465 substituted "members of the Foreign Service" for "Foreign Service Personnel".EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1980 AMENDMENT Amendment by Pub. L. 96–465 effective Feb. 15, 1981, except as otherwise provided, see section 2403 of Pub. L. 96–465, set out as an Effective Date note under section 3901 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.REFERENCES IN OTHER LAWS TO GS–16, 17, OR 18 PAY RATES References in laws to the rates of pay for GS–16, 17, or 18, or to maximum rates of pay under the General Schedule, to be considered references to rates payable under specified sections of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees, see section 529 [title I, §101(c)(1)] of Pub. L. 101–509, set out in a note under section 5376 of Title 5.
7 U.S.C. § 1765a (2018)