March 14, 2016


US agri trade mission travels to Peru, Chile



A US trade mission composed of leaders from 34 US agribusinesses and organisations, and led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack started its foray into Peru on March 14 and will later proceed to Chile.


The mission, which will end on March 18, aims to expand export opportunities for US food and agricultural products, according to the USDA Office of Communications.


Mission participants represent a wide range of agricultural products and commodities, including grains, livestock, produce, and processed foods and beverages. They will meet with potential customers and host government representatives, forging relationships and learning about the market conditions and business environment in Chile and Peru. "This first-hand intelligence will help them develop strategies to start or expand sales to these key markets", a release from the USDA communications office said.


"South America has been one of the fastest-growing world regions for exports of US farm and food products, and Chile and Peru have been among the most rapidly growing markets in the region," said Vilsack in a pre-departure statement. "I look forward to joining US agricultural leaders to explore the many market opportunities that exist in this part of the world, particularly in light of the fact that both Chile and Peru are part of the TPP."


According to the communications office release, agricultural exports have climbed more than 35% in value since 2009 under the Obama administration, totaling a record $919.6 billion over the past seven years. Since 2009, it added, USDA has removed numerous unfair restrictions to US trade to help farmers export more.


USDA has also led more than 225 US agribusinesses and more than 20 State Departments of Agriculture on agricultural trade missions to China, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, India, Iraq, Malaysia, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.


The mission begins in Peru, where US agricultural and related product exports have more than doubled since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in 2009.


It will then travel to Chile, where all US products enjoy duty-free access under the US-Chile Free Trade Agreement. Since the agreement was enacted in 2004, US exports of agricultural and related products to Chile have grown nearly 600%.


Some of the participating organisations and companies are Bell Carter Foods, based in Corning, Georgia; Cypress Food Distributors Inc., Coral Springs, Florida; Eastern Quality Foods, Ponte Vedra, Florida; Fall Creek Farm & Nursery Inc., Lowell, Oregon; Hubbard Breeders LLC, Pikeville, Tennessee; Maryland Department of Agriculture; MetaFoods LLC, Atlanta, Georgia; Tomex Foods Inc., Glenn Ellyn, Illinois; US Grains Council; US Meat Export Federation; and US Soybean Export Council.
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