America Fruit | 20 January 2016
US targets new opportunities in Latin America
By Maura Maxwell
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is to lead a trade mission to Chile and Peru this March to expand export opportunities for US agriculture.
“Thanks to existing free trade agreements, the US enjoys strong trading relationships with both Chile and Peru,” Vilsack said. “In addition, both nations are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which if implemented will boost the Chilean and Peruvian economies and tighten integration with the US economy, helping further expand demand for US agricultural products.”
The US entered into a trade agreement with Peru in 2009 that slashed agricultural tariffs and improved market access for a number of US products. As a result, US farm and food exports to Peru have nearly tripled, reaching a record US$1.25bn in 2015. In Chile, all US products enjoy duty-free access as of 2015, thanks to the free trade agreement enacted in 2004. Since that year, US exports to Chile have grown by more than 500 per cent, totalling US$803m last year.
“In both Chile and Peru, steady economic growth and an expanding middle class population are fuelling demand for high quality made-in-America food and agricultural products. Now that the US enjoys open access to these markets, it’s a great time for US companies – especially small- and medium-sized enterprises – to start or expand their exports there,” Vilsack said.