Nov 28, 2023
USDA sets 2024 trade mission schedule, opens RAPP public comment period

USDA trade missions in 2024 will include trips to Korea, Canada and Vietnam. The agency has also opened a public comment period for its new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program as part of its efforts to bolster U.S. agricultural trade.

“Market diversification is an important tool for maximizing growth opportunities for U.S. agriculture as well as hedging the risk of market contraction and general volatility in the global marketplace,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release. “USDA is committed to promoting export opportunities in non-traditional markets and ensuring that U.S. agricultural commodities and products are available to diverse consumer groups around the world.”

In October, Vilsack announced USDA will use $1.3 billion from the Commodity Credit Corp. funds to establish RAPP to bolster and diversify U.S. agricultural export opportunities and strengthen support for specialty crop industries. On Nov. 17, USDA published regulations for RAPP, which will be open for public comment until Dec. 18.

Agribusiness trade missions next year will begin with a USDA-led trip to Seoul, Korea the week of March 25.

The rest of the 2024 trade mission schedule is as follows:

  • New Delhi, India – Week of April 22, 2024
  • Vancouver, Canada – Week of June 17, 2024
  • Bogota, Colombia – Week of July 29, 2024
  • Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (with buyers from Thailand) – Week of September 9, 2024
  • Casablanca, Morocco (with buyers from Senegal and Francophone West Africa) – Week of December 2, 2024

U.S. agricultural exports totaled a record $196 billion in 2022, according to the release. The USDA cited several achievements during the Biden-Harris Administration that have provided new opportunities for U.S. farmers and ranchers, including:

  • Vietnam opening its market for U.S. grapefruit exporters.
  • India dropping retaliatory tariffs on apples, chickpeas, lentils, almonds and walnuts. The Indian government also reduced tariffs for turkey, duck, blueberries and cranberries.
  • Canada approving legislative recognition of U.S. biofuels, maintaining the largest export market for U.S. ethanol and biodiesel.
  • Mexico granting market access to U.S. potatoes following more than 20 years of engagement.
  • Japan renegotiating beef safeguard levels under the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement, reducing tariffs and generating growth opportunities for $150 million in beef exports.
  • Brazil agreeing not to change import certification requirements, ensuring continued exports of U.S. milk, beef and seafood.

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