WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Michael Scuse will lead a team of U.S. ethanol industry leaders on a mission to Mexico May 24-25, to explore opportunities to expand both the U.S. and Mexico's renewable energy sectors.

"Our goal is to partner with Mexico to support the establishment of an economically viable ethanol industry there, where Mexican domestic production can be supplemented with imported product from the United States," Scuse said. "The increased use of ethanol in the North American fuel market will provide citizens from both countries with an inexpensive source of renewable energy that improves air quality, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulates the rural economy."

The U.S. is the world's leading manufacturer of ethanol, producing more than half of the global supply. U.S. ethanol has been an important driver of rural economic growth since 2007. The U.S. currently blends more than 14 billion gallons of ethanol into the transportation fuel supply each year, utilizing 5 billion bushels of corn and returning nearly $20 billion annually to the U.S. farm economy.

"Mexico, with the right policies in place, has the potential to achieve similar benefits producing ethanol from sugarcane," Scuse said. "We view this as a partnership that can provide benefits for both Mexico and the United States."

Mission participants will share their experiences with both ethanol production and the development of renewable fuels policies, with the goal of demonstrating how Mexico can implement its own renewable fuels program.