US secures full access for US beef to Peru

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March 15, 2016

US secures full access for US beef to Peru

The US government has reached an agreement with Peru to remove barriers on its beef exports to the latter, said Tom Vilsack, the Agriculture Secretary, and Michael Froman, the US Trade Representative.

With the end of the ban which had been in effect since 2003, the latest development opens one of the fastest growing markets in Latin America to all American beef and beef products.

In 2015, the USexported US$25.4 million in beef and beef products to Peru.

Since the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA) entered into force in 2009, US beef and beef products have grown substantially but have been hampered due to burdensome certification requirements installed by Peru in 2003.

This agreement, reached on March 14 during Vilsack''s trade and investment mission to Peru, removes those barriers- called the export verification program- and assures American ranchers of expanded market access.

"Since 2009, the US and Peruhave enjoyed one of the strongest bilateral trade relationships in the Western Hemisphere, and today, it became much stronger," said Vilsack after meeting with officials from Peru.

"Since 2003, USDA and USTR have worked diligently to reopen and expand markets once closed to US beef. This is another win in a long line of successes that led to a near-record US beef and beef product exports in 2015. The Obama Administration will continue to work hard around the world to remove unfair barriers and create a more level playing (field) for America''s farmers, ranchers, producers and rural communities," Vilsack added.

"Peru has been a growing market for American beef and this agreement will only further expand opportunities for American producers and exporters," said US Trade Representative Michael Froman. "Not many years ago, there was little American beef going to Peru, but through the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, and agreements like this, we are seeing increased demand for high-quality American beef."

Bilateral trade of agricultural, fish and forestry products between the US and Peru topped US$3 billion in 2015 and has grown more than 110% since 2009.

The recent agreement reflects the US'' negligible risk classification for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

The US and Peru have agreed to changes in certification statements that will allow beef and beef products from all federally inspected US establishments to be eligible for export to Peru, rather than just products from establishments that participated in the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Export Verification (EV) programmes under the previous certification requirements.

Agricultural exports have climbed more than 35% in value since 2009 under the Obama Administration, totaling a record US$919.6 billion over the past seven years.

Agricultural exports support more than one million jobs in the States. Since 2009, USDA has removed numerous unfair restrictions to US trade to help farmers export in larger volumes.

USDA has also led more than 225 US agribusinesses and more than 20 State Departments of Agriculture on agricultural trade missions to countries around the world, including Peru.

Peru is also a member of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which concluded negotiations in October 2015 on a historic trade agreement.

The passage of TPP by the US 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.