More countries are looking for U.S.-grown and -processed agricultural products than ever before, a trade expert says.

Value-added products and agriculture both have a bright outlook, said Vern Jenkins, international trade business adviser for the Small Business Development Center in Spokane.

Jenkins and Allan Peterson, a certified business adviser and global business professional for the center in Moses Lake, Wash., will offer a one-hour training session on succeeding in international business at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Room 401C.

Many tariff issues will hopefully be resolved soon, Jenkins said in December. They created changes in the volume of U.S. goods purchased by foreign buyers in targeted sectors.

“We’ve never been in a more politically charged environment in 30 years of my experience,” Jenkins said.

Tariffs get the attention in the mainstream media, but Jenkins said many countries still rely on products from the U.S. or Canada to round out their food supply.

“Those are not shrinking,” Jenkins said. “Those continue to grow. That demand continues to grow.”

Jenkins has worked for the center 10 years. He’s been involved in international business for more than 25 years.

“At this point in my life, my favorite part is assisting companies with entering foreign markets in a successful way,” he said.

If a company has a product or interested buyers, the center can help it enter the market, make the sale, ship the product, learn the regulations, determine who to work with, and other things, Jenkins said.

Jenkins will give examples of resources, market-entry best practices and research to help small or medium-sized companies enter a foreign market.

The center also helps small or medium-sized farm operations that have opportunities to sell value-added food products.

The state Department of Commerce handles raw agricultural products, he said.

The center also offers two-day workshops in eastern and western Washington and no-cost advising and free international foreign market research to any company in the state, Jenkins said.

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