Tag Archives: International Trade

The Kansas Department of Agriculture recently hosted two State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant trade missions to Foro Mascotas Pet Food International in Guadalajara, Mexico, and AGRO 2019 in Kyiv, Ukraine. The trade missions provided Kansas companies an opportunity to showcase and offer their products to an international audience. Companies participating in the trade mission to Mexico included: Engineered Systems and Equipment (E.S.E), Caney, and NorthWind Technical Services, Sabetha. Companies participating in the trade mission to Ukraine included: Moridge Manufacturing Inc. (Grasshopper Company), Moundridge, ShieldAg Equipment, Hutchinson, and USC, Sabetha.

“The STEP Grant was designed to help small businesses expand their exports. We’ve been fortunate in Kansas to have received the STEP grant to help Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to explore new markets or increase the value of export sales in existing markets,” said Suzanne Ryan-Numrich, international trade director at KDA.

Exports are important to the Kansas economy. In 2018, over $3.8 billion of agricultural goods were shipped around the globe to 74 different countries.

The trade missions were sponsored by KDA and funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration using a STEP grant in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Ray Garvey, export manager at the Grasshopper Company, was among those who traveled to AGRO 2019. “From my point of view, there are several aspects of the AGRO show that were a success,” he said. “I want to thank the state of Kansas and the SBA for this opportunity to discover a new market in Ukraine. I’m looking forward to further exploring this market for my company.”

The Kansas Department of Agriculture is dedicated to providing an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy including the further development and expansion of marketing opportunities for agricultural goods and services around the globe.

The KDA is offering an upcoming opportunity for Kansas farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to participate in a livestock genetic trade mission to Uruguay this fall, from September 10-16. Additionally, two STEP Grant trade missions are planned for 2020: VICTAM Asia/Petfood Forum Asia, Bangkok, Thailand, March 24-26; and NAMPO Harvest Day, Bothaville, South Africa, May 12-15. Interested persons should contact Ryan-Numrich at suzanne.numrich@ks.gov or 785-564-6704.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that the World Trade Organization needs mending to keep up with the times.

Morrison said many leaders attending the Group of 20 summit in Osaka later this month share the view.

“There is a strong consensus about the need to modernize the WTO and its rules,” he said.

“We need to mend it, we don’t need to break it, and mending it requires a lot of partnership,” he added. “Just now it’s the technical practical things that need to get done.”

Morrison, who spoke at a lunch organized by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, didn’t go into the specifics of what needed to change.

But he referred to a “very practical” speech by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at an annual security conference last week.

Lee said multilateral institutions like the WTO were “far from perfect” and in need of reform.

“Multilateral global deals like the Uruguay Round are no longer practical, when agreement requires a full consensus among 164 member countries of hugely diverse interests and philosophies,” he said.

“Furthermore, the WTO was designed for an agricultural and manufacturing-based world economy, but the world has moved on to services and now increasingly digital and intellectual property, which need much more complicated rules,” Lee added.

Morrison is on his first overseas trip after a shock election victory in May. It includes stops at the Solomon Islands, Britain and Singapore.