Vilsack Announces Plan to Increase Trade

Dan Commodities, Economy, Exports/Imports, Trade

Crates Of Tomatoes packed ready for export.
By Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock image

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday announced the next steps in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s efforts to bolster U.S. agricultural trade, including the department’s planned trade missions for 2024 and the opening of a public comment period for the new Regional Agricultural Promotion Program (RAPP).

“As I’ve often said, the key to trade is people’s presence and promotions, and these resources will allow us to continue to expand our reach into markets that are nontraditional to complement the work that we’re doing in the more traditional ag markets,” he told reporters at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

Thomas J. Vilsack
United States Secretary of Agriculture
Official USDA photo by Tom Witham

Vilsack said, “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.”

“In March, we’re looking forward to a trade mission to South Korea and April, the trade mission will be headed to India. In June, the trade mission will be in Canada. July, we’ll see us traveling to Colombia September. We’ll do an event in Vietnam,” Vilsack said. “The trade mission in Vietnam will also have some Thailand opportunities and influences and December we’ll finish with a trip to Morocco, which will also allow us to have some Northern African nations involved. So, you can see from the trade promotion and trade mission area that we’re looking for diversifying our market opportunities.” In October, Secretary Vilsack announced that USDA will use $1.3 billion from the Commodity Credit Corporation funds to establish RAPP, to bolster and diversify U.S. agricultural export opportunities, and strengthen support for specialty crop industries. This investment will enable American exporters to enter new markets and expand market share in current and growth markets.

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.