Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Leads Business Leaders on Trade Mission to Peru, Chile
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2016 – Leaders from 34 U.S. agribusinesses and organizations will accompany Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on a trade mission to Peru and Chile, March 14 to March 18, to expand export opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products. Peru and Chile are also members of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which concluded negotiations in October 2015 on a historic trade agreement. Passage of TPP by the U.S. Congress will provide new market access across the board for America's farmers and ranchers by lowering tariffs, eliminating barriers, boosting exports and supporting jobs in America's rural economies.
"South America has been one of the fastest-growing world regions for exports of U.S. farm and food products, and Chile and Peru have been among the most rapidly growing markets in the region," said Vilsack. "I look forward to joining U.S. 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."
Agricultural exports have climbed more than 35 percent in value since 2009 under the Obama Administration, totaling a record $919.6 billion over the past seven years. Agricultural exports support more than 1 million American jobs. Since 2009, USDA has removed numerous unfair restrictions to U.S. trade to help farmers export more. USDA has also led more than 225 U.S. 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.
This mission begins in Peru, where U.S. agricultural and related product exports have more than doubled since the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement entered into force in 2009. The United States is already Peru's top supplier of both bulk and consumer-oriented products as well as imported ethanol, and the country's steady economic growth and expanding middle class point to further growth potential for U.S. exports across all sectors.
Participants will then travel to Chile, where all U.S. products enjoy duty-free access thanks to the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement. Since the agreement was enacted in 2004, U.S. exports of agricultural and related products to Chile have grown nearly 600 percent, with the most significant increase being in high-value, consumer-oriented products. With rising consumer spending and the highest per-capita gross domestic product in South America, Chile holds many opportunities for U.S. exporters.
Mission participants represent a wide range of agricultural products and commodities, including grains, livestock, produce, processed foods and beverages, sugar, cotton, lumber and ethanol. 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.
Participating U.S. Organizations and Companies:
1. ADM Rice Inc., West Arbuckle, Calif.
2. American Softwoods, Portland, Ore.
3. APA – The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, Wash.
4. Bell Carter Foods, Corning, Ga.
5. Commercial Lynks Inc., Alexandria, Va.
6. Cypress Food Distributors Inc., Coral Springs, Fla.
7. Eastern Quality Foods, Ponte Vedra, Fla.
8. Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc., Lowell, Ore.
9. Green Plains Inc., Omaha, Neb.
10. Growth Energy, Washington, D.C.
11. Hidden Villa Ranch, Fullerton, Calif.
12. Hubbard Breeders LLC, Pikeville, Tenn.
13. IncaBiz LLC, Omaha, Neb.
14. JM Grain, Garrison, N.D.
15. Klausner Trading USA, Inc., Myrtle Beach S.C.
16. LL-International, LLC, Bismarck, N.D.
17. Maryland Department of Agriculture, Annapolis, Md.
18. MetaFoods LLC, Atlanta, Ga.
19. Mirasco, Atlanta, Ga.
20. Morgan Davis International, Macomb, Okla.
21. POET, Sioux Falls, S.D.
22. Pristina Capital Partners LLC, Midland Park, N.J.
23. Renewable Energy Group, Inc., Ames, Iowa
24. Renewable Fuels Association, Washington, D.C.
25. Standard Cotton, Germantown, Tenn.
26. Strickland Ranch and Exports, Myakka City, Fla.
27. Tomex Foods, Inc., Glenn Ellyn, Ill.
28. TRC Trading Corporation, Roseville, Calif.
29. United Source One, Belcamp, Md.
30. USA Rice Federation, Arlington, Va.
31. U.S. Grains Council, Washington, D.C.
32. U.S. Meat Export Federation, Denver, Colo.
33. U.S. Soybean Export Council, Chesterfield, Mo.
34. Zafi Beverages Inc., Bensenville, Ill.
For more information about this and other USDA trade missions, visit www.fas.usda.gov/topics/trade-missions.
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