The USDA worked diligently in 2018 to expand trade opportunities around the world for U.S. ag producers. The Department of Ag said those efforts paid off as global sales remained strong in spite of challenges in the trade arena through the year.
Ted McKinney, Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, says it’s been a “rollercoaster ride this year,” but U.S. farm exports remain strong, thanks in no small part to the Foreign Agricultural Service. One of the biggest highlights of the year was the successful negotiation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement. USDA also broke down trade barriers and provided more access to overseas markets for several commodities.
They included poultry and dairy to Canada through the USMCA, as well as lamb and goat meat to Japan, beef and pork in Argentina, poultry to India and Namibia, lamb to El Salvador, beef and poultry to Morocco, eggs to South Africa, and dairy to Turkey. FAS staff also worked around the globe to assist U.S. exporters in releasing hundreds of shipments that had been detained in foreign ports. USDA made sure that more than $77 million of perishable U.S. products arrived safely at their intended destinations. Among them was beef to Bulgaria, cherries to Taiwan, cranberries to China, and even lobsters to the United Arab Emirates.
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