Building Bridges, Breaking Down Barriers in India

November 22, 2017   |   Feature

Leading his first international trade mission Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017, Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney was joined by more than 50 U.S. agricultural leaders eager to explore potential trade opportunities in Mumbai and New Delhi, India.

McKinney emphasized that his goal for the trip to India was to lay the groundwork for improved long-term trade development. “We had three goals: to build on our existing public-private engagement with Indian partners, to achieve new business contacts that might be beneficial to both parties, and to advance the United States’ trade policy relationship with India,” he said.

With India’s population swelling at well over one billion, demand for affordable, high-quality foods will continue to grow into the future. However, despite U.S. exports growing almost 250 percent in the last decade, a variety of trade barriers continue to impede the U.S.-India trade relationship. In meetings with Indian government officials, McKinney and industry leaders raised a number of market access issues. He characterized these conversations as straightforward, honest, direct and ultimately productive, reflecting a mutual desire to ease these barriers and move forward more productively and efficiently with trade.

In addition to policy discussions, U.S. delegates met with potential customers and trading partners not just from India, but from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as well. The 650+ business-to-business meetings that took place set a record for a single USDA trade mission.

“The response has been nothing short of overwhelming -- warm and embracing at all levels,” McKinney said.  “Some of our delegates were feeling out how they might do business here for the first time, while others were finding ways to enhance existing trade that they already have. And I think we all came away with the feeling that we have many great opportunities for trade.”

Learn more about how FAS trade missions deliver results for U.S. exporters at


USDA Trade Mission Builds Bridges, Breaks Down Barriers in India

(Photos clockwise) USDA Team at Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi. Under Secretary McKinney giving remarks at a trade reception, Mumbai. Cochran Fellowship alumni reception, Mumbai. Under Secretary McKinney meeting Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. U.S. pulses at wholesale market, Mumbai. U.S. Apples at wholesale market, Mumbai. 

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