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USDA APHIS Removes Trade Barriers, Expands Market Access

02 August 2012

US - The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has worked in conjunction with federal, international and industry partners to arrange for the release of 209 shipments of American products valued at more than $39 million in 2012.

The goods had been detained at foreign ports of entry pending resolution of various animal and plant health questions. In addition, APHIS has helped to open or maintain more than $51 million in overseas markets for US agricultural products.

Under Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack's leadership, USDA has aggressively worked to expand export opportunities and reduce barriers to trade, helping to push agricultural exports to record levels since 2009. The work of USDA agencies, including APHIS, and other federal partners helps to prevent and remove unwarranted barriers to trade, saving and securing American jobs and businesses, and supporting President Obama's goal of doubling American exports by the end of 2014.

"APHIS works diligently every day to help ensure overseas markets for our country's agricultural products," said Rebecca Blue, deputy undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programmes. "In the past six months, APHIS has negotiated to reopen the Chinese market for US log exports in a six-month pilot programme, facilitated the first export of 1,400 cattle to Angola, helped California producers ship their stonefruit to important markets in Mexico, and arranged for the release of six shipments of cherries and $1.5 million of cotton held at Chinese ports."

APHIS addresses animal and plant health concerns that limit the export of American agricultural goods and negotiates with international trade partners to remove trade barriers and resolve trade-related issues.

APHIS personnel stationed in countries overseas work closely with foreign regulatory counterparts to exchange information on agricultural health issues and ensure the safe trade of agricultural products. By working on these technical trade matters with overseas officials, as well as within international standard-setting organisations, APHIS personnel are in key positions to support US agricultural exports and ensure that trading partners adhere to agreed-upon standards.

When American shipments are detained at foreign ports of entry, APHIS and other USDA officials negotiate with international officials to resolve the issue. APHIS' team of technical experts certify that US animal and plant products are free of pests and diseases and meet the entry requirements set by our trading partners. In negotiations to protect, expand, and open new trade markets, APHIS advocates on behalf of US agricultural industries to ensure a free flow of American agricultural products in international markets.

TheCropSite News Desk



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