Argentina. President Trump announced Aug. 17 an agreement that will reopen Argentina, a potential $10 million-per-year market, to U.S. exports of fresh, chilled, and frozen pork and pork products from U.S. animals. Argentina had blocked such products since 1992 citing animal health concerns. According to a White House statement, exports will resume after Argentine food safety officials conduct on-site verification of the U.S. meat inspection system and any outstanding technical issues are resolved.
South Korea. The Department of Agriculture announced Aug. 17 that the government of South Korea has lifted a ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including fresh eggs, that was imposed in response to a detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Korea has also announced temporary duty-free entry of U.S. eggs and egg products due to a shortage of domestic supplies caused by its own bird flu outbreak.
According to USDA, U.S. pork and pork product exports to Korea fell from $122 million in 2014, when Korea was the tenth-largest export market for U.S. poultry products, to $39 million in 2016. USDA said the U.S. will seek to prevent a similar decline in the future by working with Korean officials to limit any future HPAI-related import restrictions to the affected area rather than extending them to the entire country.
Colombia. USDA announced Aug. 17 an agreement with the government of Colombia to allow for expanded market access for U.S. exports of paddy rice. This agreement lifts the “costly and unnecessary fumigation and processing requirements” included in a 2012 agreement on this issue and expands access beyond the port of Barranquilla, which was the only Colombian port previously open to U.S. exporters.
USDA notes that exports of milled rice to Colombia have increased dramatically since entry into force of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement in 2012, averaging $79 million per year compared to $3 million in 2011. In addition, exports of paddy rice have constituted a small but growing share of total U.S. rice exports to Colombia, reaching $15 million in 2016.