USDA chief leads trade mission to CAFTA countries
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer is leading an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to the Central American region Sept. 21-24 to further promote two-way cooperation, trade and investment between the United States and companies in Central America and the Dominican Republic.
Representatives from 17 U.S. agricultural products shippers are participating in the mission. These companies are expected to meet with up to 70 Central American and Dominican Republic businesses during the trip.
Schafer said the trip would promote the development of agricultural trade between the United States and country members of the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement.
Since the agreement took effect with El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, two-way trade in agricultural products with the United States is expected to exceed $5 billion in 2008, the USDA said. Two-way trade grew 21 percent from $3.8 billion in 2006 to nearly $4.6 billion in 2007, less than a year after the agreement had come into force with these five countries.
The USDA said the trade mission would specifically promote trade and investment in processed goods, beverages, livestock, genetics, meat and poultry, agricultural equipment, dairy products, fertilizer and organic goods.