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USTR Success Stories: Opening Markets for U.S. Agricultural Exports

U.S. agriculture is an export powerhouse with exports increasing over 150 percent over the past 15 years.  Agricultural exports support more than 1 million American jobs, and roughly 80 percent of these jobs are in the non-farm sector (processing, manufacturing, etc.).  In 2016 agricultural domestic exports reached $134.9 billion and created an estimated $171.3 billion in additional economic activity, for a total economic output of $306.3 billion.

As U.S. agricultural productivity continues to increase, the Administration will continue to open new markets for safe, wholesome U.S. food and agricultural products to be enjoyed by consumers around the world.

Below are several Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) success stories from 2016, including items identified in the SPS section of the 2016 National Trade Estimate Report:

  • Apples to Israel:  In January 2017, after successful technical meetings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Israel amended its import regulations to accept a cold treatment for U.S. apples that provides U.S. apple exporters with new flexibility by significantly expanding the window during which they can ship to Israel.  In 2016, U.S. apple exports to Israel were valued at nearly $8 million.
  • Beef to Brazil: In August 2016, Brazil lifted its BSE-related ban on U.S. beef and beef products, reopening this export market that had been closed since 2003.
  • Beef to Israel: In February 2016, Israel removed its remaining BSE-related trade barriers to reopen its market to U.S. beef imports, which had been blocked by Israel since 2013.
  • Beef to Saudi Arabia: In June 2016, Saudi Arabia lifted its ban on U.S. beef and beef products, removing a BSE-related trade restriction that had been in place since 2012.
  • Nectarines to Japan:  Japan authorized market access for U.S. nectarines for the 2016 shipping season, with the first U.S. shipments to Japan beginning in July 2016.  Over this first season of new market access, nectarine exports to Japan were valued at approximately $385,000. 
  • Stone Fruit to Australia:  In July 2016, the United States gained market access in Australia for fresh apricots and stone fruit hybrids (pluots and plumcots) from California and the Pacific Northwest, fulfilling market access efforts dating back to 2006.  The United States will continue to work with Australia to expand access for U.S. stone fruit from other U.S. states.
  • Live Cattle to Colombia: In August 2016, following an agreement between USDA and Colombian authorities, Colombia reopened its markets to imports of U.S. live cattle.  Importation of U.S. live cattle had been blocked due to restrictive requirements imposed by Colombia because of its concerns regarding bluetongue and leucosis. 
  • Potatoes to Costa Rica: In April 2016, Costa Rica opened its market to U.S. chipping potatoes, which had been banned from the Costa Rican market since 2013.
  • Poultry to Saudi Arabia: In August 2016, Saudi Arabia reopened its market to poultry from 15 U.S. states that were affected by the highly-pathogenic avian influenza in 2014.   The United States has exported up to $38 million of poultry to Saudi Arabia annually.
  • Soybeans to the EU: In July 2016, the EU approved two soybean biotech varieties, which prevented a major shut down of U.S. exports.  The EU market for U.S. soybeans, soybean meal and soybean oil is around $2 billion annually.
  • Strawberries to China: In October 2016, the first shipment of California strawberries was exported to China after ten years of U.S. efforts led by USDA and the California strawberry industry.  USDA and Chinese officials agreed to an export protocol in early 2016, and a final inspection tour of shipping facilities took place in June 2016.   The strawberry industry predicts that U.S. strawberry exports to China will grow to more than $30 million in the next few years.