SAN DIEGO — For the second consecutive year, the Renewable Fuels Association is partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration to host an International Buyer Program (IBP) today at the National Ethanol Conference. The program is designed to introduce U.S. ethanol sellers to foreign buyers in an effort to expand U.S. exports. Through the department's network of offices in U.S. embassies and consulates worldwide, the IBP recruits pre-screened foreign buyer delegations and brings them to selected trade shows and conferences in the United States, connecting U.S. companies with international buyers. At this year's IBP, 18 international companies are scheduled to attend from seven top ethanol export markets: China, South Korea, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, India and Brazil. Sellers from 18 U.S. ethanol producers and marketing companies are also scheduled to attend. "With U.S. ethanol exports topping more than 1 billion gallons last year, the IBP has become an important and helpful tool to help expand our domestic industry," said RFA General Counsel Ed Hubbard, who is organizing the effort.Â "The highlight of this program will be individualized business-to-business meetings, giving both buyers and sellers the opportunity to directly interact. This is a highly sought-after event and we look forward to helping to connect trading partners around the globe." ITA staff will be available to assist U.S. existing and potential ethanol exporters and the program will also include key discussions on Mexico's energy reforms, as well as a Latin America Roundtable to discuss ethanol and trade policy in the region. For more information on the program, visit IBP.NationalEthanolConference.com.