Leaders from 34 US agribusinesses and organizations will join USDA representatives on a trade mission to Peru and Chile, March 14-18, to expand export opportunities for US food and agricultural products. Peru and Chile are members of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which concluded negotiations in October 2015 and awaits congressional approval. USDA says passage of TPP by Congress will provide new market access across the board by lowering tariffs, eliminating barriers, boosting exports and supporting jobs in America's rural economies.

“South America has been one of the fastest-growing world regions for exports of US farm and food products, and Chile and Peru have been among the most rapidly growing markets in the region,” says Tom Vilsack, USDA secretary. “I look forward to joining US agricultural leaders to explore the many market opportunities that exist in this part of the world, particularly in light of the fact that both Chile and Peru are part of the TPP.”

Agricultural exports have climbed more than 35 percent in value since 2009, totaling a record $919.6 billion over the past seven years. Agricultural exports support more than one million American jobs. Since 2009, USDA has led more than 225 US agribusinesses and more than 20 State Departments of Agriculture on agricultural trade missions to China, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Indonesia, India, Iraq, Malaysia, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.

Participants on the mission to Peru and Chile represent a wide range of agricultural products and commodities, including grains, livestock, produce, processed foods and beverages, sugar, cotton, lumber and ethanol. They will meet with potential customers and host government representatives, forging relationships and learning about the market conditions and business environment in Chile and Peru.