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Latin America To Benefit From U.S. "Emerging Markets Program"

$10 million initiative encourages emerging markets to adopt free-trade policies

Posted: July 21, 2005

Washington -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $10 million for 71 U.S. agricultural trade projects to be conducted in Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela, Central America and elsewhere around the world under what is called the "Emerging Markets Program."

In a July 18 statement, the USDA said that the program, first authorized by Congress in 1990, supports the promotion and distribution of U.S. agricultural products, trade missions, research on new markets, and activities that encourage free-trade policies. The program sponsors seminars and training so that potential buyers in emerging economies around the world can profitably use U.S. agricultural goods.

The program defines emerging markets as countries that have or are developing a market-oriented economy and could be a viable market for U.S. products, USDA says

The underlying premise of the program, said the USDA, is that emerging agricultural markets have "distinctive characteristics" that can benefit from U.S. government assistance. All agricultural commodities except tobacco are eligible for consideration in the program.

The projects involve work with U.S. trade groups, nonprofit organizations, universities and federal agencies. In addition to the countries in the Americas, projects in 2005 will be conducted in Asia, Russia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Africa.


In the Americas, the projects to be conducted in fiscal year 2005 include $50,000 to study consumer attitudes and usages for exporting U.S. almonds to Mexico and a $90,000 study of Brazil's competitive potential with regard to its domestic policies, limits on agricultural growth and rising domestic demand for agricultural products.

In Venezuela, a $16,825 project will revolve around a USDA-sponsored "Institute of Food Technologists Expo," to be held June 24-28, 2006, in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. A food technologist develops new and improved food products and sets standards for producing, packaging and marketing food.

In Central America, the state of Minnesota's Department of Agriculture will conduct a $55,000 project for market development of Minnesota products in that region of the Americas.

More information about the Emerging Markets Program is available on the USDA Web site.

Eric Green
Washington File Staff Writer


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