Vilsack to lead trade mission to Chile and Peru

U.S. exports to Chile have risen more than 500 percent ($803 million) in 2015. | File photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that Secretary Tom Vilsack will lead a four-day trade mission in March to Chile and Peru.

"Thanks to existing free trade agreements, the United States enjoys strong trading relationships with both Chile and Peru," Vilsack said. "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."

The U.S. and Peru have had a trade agreement since 2009 that nearly tripled U.S. food and farm exports in fiscal 2015. In addition, U.S. exports to Chile have risen more than 500 percent ($803 million) in 2015.

"In both Chile and Peru, steady economic growth and an expanding middle-class population are fueling demand for high-quality, made-in-America food and agricultural products," Vilsack said. "Now that the United States enjoys open access to these markets, it's a great time for U.S. companies – especially small- and medium-sized enterprises – to start or expand their exports there."

The trade missions give U.S. exporters new ideas and opportunities to forge relationships with traders in different countries.

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