The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service was busy looking for new trade opportunities in 2019. Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney says the agency fought throughout the year to unlock new export opportunities for U.S. agriculture around the globe. Last year, the FAS hosted six trade missions and supported exporter participation in 22 international trade shows. Together, those activities resulted in nearly $3 billion in projected 12-month sales of U.S. farm and food products across the globe.
The agency also facilitated another $2 billion in exports of American commodities to Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. McKinney says, “While the U.S. was in the process of finalizing the phase one trade agreement with China, we successfully defended U.S. wheat, corn, and rice interests against China at the World Trade Organization.” FAS staff around the globe also helped U.S. exporters in releasing hundreds of shipments that were detained at ports of entry in overseas markets, ensuring that over $95 million in perishable products arrived safely at their final destinations. “USDA efforts to break down barriers and pursue export opportunities resulted in new or expanded market access for numerous U.S. farm products in 2019,” McKinney adds.