USDA is gearing up for its next trade mission—this time to Vietnam. The agency is encouraging Michigan’s ag business leaders and producers to join them to find new export opportunities for Michigan’s ag products.

The deadline to apply for USDA’s trade mission to Vietnam is June 4th for the trade mission, which is set for Sept. 9-13.

Alexis Taylor, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs, says there are opportunities for more U.S. agricultural goods—especially specialty crops.

“Products like cotton, dairy, dried distillers, grains for animal feed, fresh fruit, poultry, soybeans and tree nuts really were some of the leading categories. But I think there are increasingly some exciting opportunities as we also work on the market access side of the equation for our specialty crop producers. We’re also working on a priority of opening up the Vietnamese market to U.S. stone fruit, so things like peaches and nectarines,” Taylor said.

Taylor explained that during trade missions like the one to Vietnam, she meets with her government counterparts to work on trade policy issues and amplify challenges or new opportunities in that market.

“But the real focus is for those businesses as we set up those business-to-business meetings,” she said. “I think we will see a really great delegation from the United States, from the food and ag sector. And we’re excited and working hard to set up really qualified, reliable partners for them to meet with on the importer side.”

Though delegates will be in Vietnam, there will also be opportunities for meetings with ag leaders from other areas.

“We are also bringing in buyers from across the region. So, we will be in two cities. In Vietnam we are going to both Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, but we will bring in buyers from Burma or Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. So we’re not only tapping into the Vietnamese market, but really expanding our reach regionally as well for those businesses that join us,” said Taylor.

Applications are available through the USDA FAS website.