Ag Secretary optimistic about trade under Biden administration


Ag Secretary optimistic about trade under Biden administration

Some agricultural groups have expressed concern the Biden administration’s approach to trade could cause the US to fall behind its competitors on the global market.

During a call with reporters from a trade mission in the United Arab Emirates on Monday Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says those concerns aren’t representative of what’s happening on the ground. “There is more trade activity,” he says.  “Barriers are coming down – whether it is in India with the efforts of the US Trade Representative to break down some barriers with India or Vietnam reducing tariffs.  Or the victory against Canada on the dairy side.” And, he says the resumption of in-person trade missions should highlight the Biden administration’s commitment to growing trade opportunities for the US.

Vilsack says he’s optimistic the current trade mission to Dubai will create opportunities for US agricultural goods in that part of the world.  He says they want to utilize Dubai, like Singapore was used as a launching point for trade in Southeast Asia, and leverage their relationship to open the door to a multitude of market opportunities in Africa.  “Dubai is the center of business,” he says.  “They have relationships.  They are a place that values trade, understands trade, encourages trade.  They have relationships that can foster trade.  The relationship between the United States and the UAE is an important one.”

Annual exports are averaging more than $1 billion in the last five years and the United States is the UAE’s fourth-largest supplier of food and farm products.

This is the first in-person trade mission for the USDA in more than two years.