U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer today announced an agreement reached with the government of Colombia to allow for expanded market access for U.S. exports of paddy rice.
A previous agreement in 2012 between both countries enabled exports of U.S. paddy rice to Colombia, but under strict and costly requirements related to phytosanitary concerns. The new agreement lifts these requirements and expands access beyond the single port of Barranquilla, which was the only port previously open to U.S. exporters.
The new agreement reflects the close trade ties between the United States and Colombia, and the high quality and safe rice produced by the U.S. rice industry. The agreement, combined with preferential access under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA), will further accelerate increased U.S. exports of food and agriculture to Colombia.
USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said:
“Today’s announcement is another great testament of our determination to expand export opportunities for America’s farmers and ranchers and to ensure fair trade with our international partners. This agreement expands opportunities for U.S. rice producers in the important Colombian market. It also underscores the value of improved relationships to solve problems, based on a solid trade agreement that benefits both parties and on a commitment to science-based rule-making.”
U.S. Trade Representative, Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, said:
“I welcome this new agreement and the expanded market access and opportunity it will afford to U.S. exporters of paddy rice.
“This outcome is a result of the Administration’s efforts to enforce international trade commitments on behalf of the American people, and to deepen our bilateral ties with key trading partners, particularly allies like Colombia.”