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APEC Business Spotlight: Alltech Provides Health and Nutrition Solutions to the Asia-Pacific Region

Today is day two of USTR.gov’s profiles of American businesses that can benefit from the work of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

Alltech, Inc., is a leading innovator in the animal health and nutrition industry, based in Nicholasville, Kentucky. The company is ranked seventh among global animal health companies and is the only privately-held company in the top ten list. Alltech engineers natural scientific solutions to deal with animal health and nutrition industry challenges across all animal species. Alltech is best known for pioneering breakthrough natural yeast fermentation and enzyme technologies.

Alltech has been growing at an average annual rate of 20 to 25 percent, and attributes its business overseas to be essential to its success. Alltech’s sales expanded after entering the Chinese market in 1995, and the company has since been well aware that its growth opportunities are in the Asia-Pacific region. The growth of the Asia-Pacific region has created demands in key industries that are aligned with the core of Alltech’s business. Today, Alltech supports over 600 U.S. jobs in eight production facilities across the country.

Greater economic relationships between the U.S. and the APEC member economies can help U.S. biotechnology companies like Alltech meet the rising demand for its expertise and export its innovative solutions and products to consumers in the region.

“Without a doubt, given the size of its population, demographics, rising income levels and the affinity and desire for meat consumption, the Asia-Pacific region offers the greatest opportunity for Alltech. Rising affluence in growing proportions of the population is driving food production and consumption,” says Vice President Steve Bourne. “Our products and services can address the increasing demand for high standards in food safety by improving the performance and profitability of livestock production, which ensures economic viability and sustainability.”

As much as Alltech’s technology and expertise could help the booming agricultural industries of the increasingly dynamic Asia-Pacific economies, trade barriers can prevent the company from competing on a level playing field. Alltech is currently charged import duties in the region up to 35 percent.

“These high tariffs can lead to a significant disadvantage in pricing compared to our local competitors in the marketplace and hence the ability of our product to improve performance and profitability for the country’s own livestock industry,” explains Mr. Bourne. "Lowering tariffs in the Asia-Pacific markets on U.S.-imported goods would enable Alltech to be more financially able to continue producing its goods in the U.S. and supporting U.S. jobs.”

Increased market access and friendlier regulatory environments would increase Alltech’s ability to expand into more markets in the Asia-Pacific, impacting company growth and overall viability to be able to increase its employment in the U.S. As the company grows, it could lead Alltech to need more people in research, development, and production. The expansion in Alltech’s operations would also increase employment opportunities in supporting industries in the services sector such as technical support and consulting.

For companies like Alltech, USTR is working in APEC to create better business environments and address barriers to trade and investment across the region.