USDA: Resolved trade issues gain US$4 billion
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has highlighted how the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has resolved dozens of export issues in 2012, freeing up an estimated $4 billion in US agricultural and forestry exports including millions of dollars for the poultry industry.
Over the past year, USDA has worked to eliminate barriers, open new markets, secure the release of US shipments detained at foreign ports, and ensure the safe movement of agricultural products in a manner consistent with science and international standards.
Staff monitored 162 markets around the world, ensuring a level playing field for US businesses and products. Last year, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) successfully negotiated and resolved 150 animal and plant health issues involving U.S. agricultural exports. Examples include:
- Worked with Mexican officials to spur US table eggs exports to Mexico valued at $45 million per year.
- Secured Japanese market access for poultry and poultry products from New York, Ohio and South Dakota. In 2011, U.S. poultry exports to Japan totaled $88 million.
Over the past year, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has helped to knock down hundreds of barriers to trade. Examples include:
- Negotiated the release of hundreds of detained shipments in dozens of countries, valued at well over $60 million, and ranging from soybean meal in Latvia, to white zinfandel in the EU, rice bran pellets in Norway, Massachusetts scallops in Spain, and U.S. meat and poultry products in Taiwan.
- Began implementing trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, ensuring duty free access for a wide variety of U.S. food and farm products expected to boost U.S. agricultural exports by more than $2.3 billion per year when fully implemented, and support nearly 20,000 domestic jobs in the process.
- Helped to negotiate the organic equivalence arrangement with the European Union. This partnership between the two largest organic-producers in the world will establish a strong foundation from which to promote organic agriculture, benefiting the growing organic industry and supporting jobs and businesses on a global scale.
In the fiscal years 2009 to 2012 agricultural exports generated more than $478 billion and 2013 agricultural exports remain on track to set new records.
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