The International Coffee Organization (ICO) has announced that the Government of the United States is withdrawing from the International Coffee Agreement 2007, an international commodity agreement between coffee producing and consuming countries, whose objective is to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion. José Sette, Executive Director of the ICO, the intergovernmental organization responsible for administering the Agreement, expressed regret for the US Government's decision to withdraw, but also confidence that relations between the ICO and the American coffee community would continue to be close. “The private sector in the US, represented by the National Coffee Association and the Specialty Coffee Association, is very supportive of the ICO and we will continue to work closely with both associations,” Mr Sette said. “With regard to the US Government, a previous US administration took the decision to withdraw from the International Coffee Agreement and later returned. “We hope that the international coffee community will once again see the US Government back among our membership and join us in continuing to tackle the complex challenges facing the world coffee sector in which 25 million producers, mostly smallholders, and over 125 million people directly or indirectly depend on coffee for their livelihood.” According to the Rules of the Organization, the withdrawal of the United States as a signatory of the International Coffee Agreement 2007 takes effect on 3 June 2018. The International Coffee Agreement is an international commodity agreement between coffee producing and consuming countries to strengthen the global coffee sector and promote its sustainable expansion in a market- based environment for the betterment of all participants. The ICO, the controlling body of the Agreement, represents most coffee producing and consuming countries. The current 2007 agreement has 44 exporting Members and 7 importing Members (the European Union represents all its member States as one Member). The original agreement was signed in 1962 for a five-year period, and since then there have been six subsequent agreements in 1968, 1976, 1983, 1994, 2001 and 2007.