CONTINUING THE efforts to re-introduce Iraq's wheat buyers to American wheat, U.S. industry officials will welcome an Iraqi trade team composed of members of the Iraq Grain Board to the United States at the end of May.

After Saddam Hussein shut U.S. wheat out of their market in 1998, the American product is finding new appreciation by the new Iraq. In the days since U.S. Wheat Associates experts met with 25 Iraqi officials in Jordan earlier this spring, Iraq has purchased over 350,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat, including an earlier renegotiated Oil for Food sale. But there's still much to “catch up on,” says USW vice president Paul Dickerson.

Plans are for the Iraqi trade team to stop in Texas, Kansas, and Washington, D.C. During their time in Washington, the team will meet with government and trade officials who can provide assistance in facilitating future business.