United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs Ted McKinney recently concluded a trade mission to Central America. Trade appears to be front and center within the Department.
Under Secretary McKinney led a trade mission to Guatemala February 26. Leaders from 34 agribusiness and trade associations and 7 state departments of agriculture joined McKinney on the mission.
McKinney says over 450 business-to-business meetings took place during the mission.
“These were not just, ‘Hi, how are you? Nice to meet you,'” McKinney said. “They were really doing business. Some contracts were written, and that’s what we want.”
McKinney adds the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA-DR, is working.
“I’m bullish on this part of the world. I do believe there are opportunities for exports, just as I believe there are opportunities for imports. There’s always things you have to work on, probably both ways. We see CAFTA work and we hope if there’s any up rating there, we can sustain it.”