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U.S. “shoring up existing markets, opening new”

Photo Courtesy of Rose Ayers

Forward movement is being made on the global trade front. A United States official discusses new developments, below.

AUDIO: Ted McKinney, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney participated in a trade roundtable, hosted by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig. McKinney, speaking to press after, provided a brief update on global trade. He describes the global trade front as “looking more optimistic.”

“The USMCA – At least there’s a handshake deal. They’re still working on a number of details, but I think you all have read the core of that agreement, and it’s a positive one for agriculture,” McKinney said.

McKinney says the recent agreement will not only advance American agriculture. He says the transaction will also lay the groundwork for future agreements.

“More importantly, getting that done gives us a template to take to other countries,” McKinney said.” A good template, I might add. A win-win for any country that wants to do a deal with the U.S. The biotech chapter is brand new, (that) never existed before. The remake of the sanitary and phytosanitary chapters is a good one that I think any country should look at.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) now plans to focus on expanding markets. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative this week informed Congress of its plans to pursue other markets.

“We’re now looking squarely at Japan, an outstanding trading partner – was then, still is and we hope it continues to be,” McKinney said. “The other two areas – (the) UK, as Brexit occurs. We don’t know what that will look like because Brexit doesn’t happen till March 2019. But, we can start negotiating into the first quarter next year. We embrace that (and) we look forward to that. We hear they want a deal with the U.S. And then (there’s) Europe.”

McKinney recognizes other agreements are still in the works. He provides an update on negotiations with China in an online story, to be posted on Monday, October 22nd.