WASHINGTON – With North Africa identified as an emerging market ripe with opportunity for US agricultural goods, the US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) is recruiting exporters to be a part of its second trade mission to the region in the past six months. Participants in the next mission will travel to Casablanca, Morocco, March 16-19, 2020, with the goal of promoting the availability of US food and feed for export to buyers in Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

The mission is part of the US Dept. of Commerce’s International Trade Administration initiative, known as Prosper Africa, which is focused on unlocking business opportunities in Africa with the goal of benefitting stakeholders in the US and in Africa.

Having imported $595 million in US agricultural products in 2018, Morocco is viewed as holding the most promise, due to the country’s reputation as a thriving business market with a stable economy. The establishment of the US-Morocco Free Trade Agreement also fosters goodwill between trade officials in the two countries.

US exporters interested in being delegates on the North Africa trade mission must apply before Jan. 16, 2020. More information on the program is available on the USDA’s website: https://www.fas.usda.gov/topics/trade-missions and inquiries about this or future missions are available via email at: trademissions@fas.usda.gov.

According to the USDA, “While in Casablanca, trade mission delegates will participate in business-to-business meetings with potential customers coordinated by local staff from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). FAS and industry trade experts will also guide participants through in-depth briefings and site visits to provide insights into exporting to the region.

USDA trade missions planned for 2020 include:

•             Philippines, April 20-23

•             Spain and Portugal, June 8-11

•             United Kingdom, Sept. 14-17

•             Australia and New Zealand, Oct. 19-23

•             Peru, Nov. 2-5

•             United Arab Emirates, November 15-18

 “I cannot overstate the immense value trade missions provide to the US agriculture industry and to our customers,” said Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, when announcing the seven trips planned for 2020. “Trade missions help agribusinesses – both large and small – get their foot in the door to new markets, build strong relationships with existing and potential customers, and expand their global footprint and sales of US farm and food products.”