WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Jan. 19 that U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack will lead a trade mission March 14-18 to expand export opportunities for U.S. agriculture in Chile and Peru.
"Thanks to existing free trade agreements, the United States enjoys strong trading relationships with both Chile and Peru," said Vilsack. "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 U.S. economy, helping further expand demand for U.S. agricultural products."
The U.S. entered into a trade agreement with Peru in 2009 that slashed agricultural tariffs and improved market access for many U.S. products. As a result, U.S. farm and food exports to Peru have nearly tripled, reaching a record $1.25 billion in fiscal year 2015. In the Chilean market, all U.S. products are duty-free access as of 2015, due to the free trade agreement enacted in 2004. Since 2004, U.S. exports to Chile have grown more than 500%, totaling $803 million in fiscal year 2015.
"In both Chile and Peru, steady economic growth and an expanding middle-class population are fueling demand for high-quality, made-in-America food and agricultural products,” Vilsack said. “Now that the United States enjoys open access to these markets, it's a great time for U.S. companies – especially small- and medium-sized enterprises – to start or expand their exports there."