USDA trade official concerned about government shutdown

A top USDA trade official is concerned about fallout from a government shutdown.

Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor spoke with reporters Thursday while on a trade mission to Chile and said export sales reports would be affected.

“That is not produced while the government is shut down. That is a critical tool for market intelligence for our exporters and for our industry in the United States.”

She says depending on the length of a shutdown, USDA trade missions to Malaysia and Singapore in late October as well as Angola in December could be in jeopardy.

“Because our employees who would do that work would be furloughed. But also all of the planning and really months and months of planning and advanced work might not be able to happen for the upcoming trade mission in Angola.”

This week’s trade mission in Chile coincides with the USDA-endorsed Espacio Food and Service Trade Show, which Taylor calls a significant gateway into the Latin American market.