Metz Chosen to Participate in USDA Secretary Vilsack’s Trade Mission to Chile and Peru
- General News
USSEC and United Soybean Board (USB) director Bob Metz has been accepted to participate on a trade mission led by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to expand export opportunities for U.S. agriculture in Chile and Peru from March 14 to March 18.
"Thanks to existing free trade agreements, the United States enjoys strong trading relationships with both Chile and Peru," said Secretary 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."
In 2009, the U.S. entered into a trade agreement with Peru 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 enjoy duty-free access as of 2015, thanks to the free trade agreement enacted in 2004. Since 2004, U.S. exports to Chile have grown more than 500 percent, totaling $803 million in fiscal year 2015.
Chile and Peru offer enormous potential in particular for U.S. Soy imports. U.S. Soy imports to Peru accounted for only 17 percent of its soybean meal imports, 30 percent of its soybean oil imports and 34 percent of its soybean imports. Imports to Chile for soybean meal, soybean oil and soybeans offer great potential, as U.S. imports to the market have been extremely low. Both of these markets combined are forecasted to import 1.775 million metric tons (MMT) of soybean meal, 485 thousand metric tons (TMT) of soybean oil and 500 TMT of soybeans.
Mr. Metz said, “This is an exciting part of the world,” explaining that because of Chile and Peru’s large poultry and pork production, the two countries are looking for “good, high quality soybean meal.”
The U.S. Soy delegation, which will also include Francisco de la Torre, USSEC Regional Representative - Americas and Belinda Pignotti, USSEC Representative - South America, will focus on international marketing, setting aside time each day to meet with current and potential customers to share the opportunities and advantages of buying U.S. Soy. At this time, USSEC plans to meet with large swine and poultry integrators including the Redondos and San Fernando Groups, the Peruvian Swine and Poultry Producers Associations, and Agribrands Purina Peru, among others.
“Traveling with the Secretary of Agriculture puts an extra emphasis on what the U.S. Soy industry is doing,” said Mr. Metz. “These personal interactions with the Secretary and the people at USDA in addition to our interactions with other countries’ ag services put a good face to USSEC and U.S. Soy.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), such trade missions “open doors and deliver results for U.S. exporters, giving them the opportunity to forge relationships with potential customers and trading partners, interact with host government officials, and gather market intelligence that will help develop strategies to expand sales in key markets overseas.”