USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Affairs, Ted McKinney, addressed the delegates and members of the U.S. Grains Council early this week.
He gave them updates on ongoing trade negotiations that will affect global grains market access. McKinney also announced a $1.3 million-dollar grant for Council feed industry training programs in North Africa and the Middle East. The U.S. Grains Council’s 58th annual meeting is going on in Houston, Texas. McKinney leads the development and implementation of the Department’s policy. He also oversees and facilitates foreign market access and promotes opportunities for U.S. agriculture through various trade programs and high-level government negotiations.
Some of the topics he touched on in Houston included the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, potential bilateral trade deals, and ethanol exports. “USDA is in it for all of you,” he said to the members. “We have not missed an opportunity to promote your products at the highest levels.”
Deb Keller is USGC chair and an Iowa farmer, who says “McKinney’s role and efforts are evidence of the USDA’s sharp focus on trade, which is shared by the Council’s members, delegates, and staff in attendance.”