In 2022, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture was awarded $925,000 through the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Emerging Markets Program. The Emerging Markets Program helps organizations promote exports of U.S. agricultural products to developing countries with strong growth potential.

NASDA’s first Emerging Markets Program trade mission took place in Vietnam on January 9-13, 2023. NASDA President and Wyoming Department of Agriculture Director Doug Miyamoto, Washington State Department of Agriculture Director Derek Sandison, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse, Texas Department of Agriculture Assistant Commissioner Dan Hunter, NASDA CEO Ted McKinney, and American Feed Industry Association President & CEO Constance Cullman participated in government and industry meetings in both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The delegation kicked off the mission in Hanoi by meeting with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, including Vice Minister Phùng Đức Tiến. The meeting covered topics such as the progression of the Vietnamese economy and market access for agricultural products such as animal feed and grapefruit. NASDA emphasized the importance of bilateral trade relations and its support for developing the Vietnamese economy. Before leaving Hanoi, NASDA hosted a reception that included attendees from several Vietnamese businesses with an interest in U.S. agricultural products and government officials. The reception gave NASDA members the opportunity to connect with potential customers of products produced in their respective states.

NASDA continued the mission in Ho Chi Minh City by hosting a luncheon with over 25 Vietnamese business representatives focused on cotton, dairy, grains, beef, tree nuts, lumber, and fresh fruit. Trade delegates also met with Central Retail Vietnam, the Handicraft and Wood Industry Association, and the U.S. Grains Council team focused on Southeast Asia. Each of these visits was valuable for better understanding the growth of the market, the political dynamics of the region, and non-tariff barriers impacting market access for U.S. agriculture.

It is critical that we continue to show up in these markets and that the outreach does not end at the conclusion of the mission. NASDA and the participating trade delegates will build upon connections made and seek answers for potential trade barriers that were identified.