WASHINGTON, April 10, 2008-Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced that Chile's Livestock and Agricultural Service approved the U.S. inspection, control and certification systems for poultry, allowing these products to enter the Chilean market effective immediately.
"This agreement represents a strong foothold for U.S. poultry exports to South America," said Schafer. "Without the benefit of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement, the common ground for expanding U.S. poultry exports to Chile would have been weakened. Trade agreements not only increase two-way trade by providing duty-free access and sharing of standards among the United States and our trading partners, these agreements also open new markets for U.S. farmers and ranchers. I applaud the hard work done by U.S. and Chilean officials to gain this eligibility."
Under this agreement, slaughterhouses, cold-storage plants, and processing facilities of poultry that are officially reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will be incorporated into the list of commercial establishments approved to export their products to Chile. The agreement also includes regular on-site audits by Chile's Livestock and Agricultural Service (SAG) to verify the inspection, control and certification systems.
On Dec. 3, 2007, FSIS began allowing Chile to export poultry and poultry products to the United States. FSIS determined that Chile's laws, regulations and other supporting documentation showed that its poultry inspection system includes requirements that are equivalent to all provisions in FSIS' Poultry Products Inspection Act and its implementing regulations. FSIS will verify-through on-site reviews and port-of-entry testing-that establishments certified by the government of Chile continue to meet all U.S. requirements.
Since the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement entered into force in 2004, total two-way trade in agricultural products between the United States and Chile has increased from $1.46 billion in 2004 to $2.23 billion in 2007, or 65 percent. In 2006, the United States exported $2.5 million of poultry and products to Chile, with live birds and egg products accounting for roughly 90 percent. With export eligibility for U.S. poultry approved under this agreement, demand for U.S. broiler and turkey meat will increase.