International Trade Seminar helps expand Mississippi’s reach

Nine different nations will be sending wood buyers to the Magnolia State for the event.
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 8:05 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. That’s just one reason why the Southern United States Trade Association is looking to get more involved in Mississippi.

Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson currently serves as the president of SUSTA. He said it’s the organization’s first in-person training in the southeast since the pandemic began, and having it in South Mississippi was a no-brainer.

“What better place to do it than on the Gulf Coast,” Gipson said. “We’ve got three ports, world-class ports that we export and import.”

Former Gov. Phil Bryant was also in attendance. He said he went to 34 different nations to promote Mississippi products while serving as lieutenant governor and governor. During that span, Mississippi exports increased 249%, ruffling some feathers.

“I went over to Hong Kong and got a very brief letter from the People’s Republic of China saying I needed to end my mission and return to the United States,” Bryant said. “You can imagine how I responded to that. You’re fooling with the wrong redneck to tell me what to do.”

SUSTA is connecting farmers and businesses with international markets. This helps them sell products such as food, wood, and horticulture, promoting what’s grown, raised, and crafted in the state.

”This is the way we can take Mississippi to the world,” Gipson said. “This is a program that actually exists to help these businesses connect, to learn how to tap those new markets.”

The Southern United States Trade Association will be back in Mississippi during June, hosting a wood trade mission. Nine different nations will be sending wood buyers to the Magnolia State for the event.

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