EXPORT NEWS AND OPPORTUNITIES
USDA Announces New Facility Guarantee Program
On December 3, 1997, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued five program announcements authorizing $150 million in credit guarantees for export sales of U.S. capital goods and services to improve existing agriculture-related facilities in 12 emerging markets. USDA allocated $20 million to the Caribbean Region (Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago); $30 million to the Central America Region (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama); $50 million to Mexico; $10 million to Peru; and $40 million to the Southeast Asia Region (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand).
The FGP is a new export program that will assist U.S. producers by expanding markets overseas for U.S. agricultural commodities and product. For example, in some markets U.S. agricultural exports are restricted by inadequate infrastructure. The FGP provides credit guarantees for capital goods and services to assist in an emerging market in developing infrastructure that also benefits U.S. agricultural exports. The FGP credit guarantees may be used to increase the storage capacity of cold storage facilities that primarily refrigerate U.S. fruits and vegetables in other countries. By supporting such facilities, the FGP is designed to enhance sales of U.S. agricultural commodities and products to emerging markets where the demand for such commodities and products may be constricted due to inadequate storage, processing, or handling capabilities for horticultural products.
USDA will consider requests to program countries not covered under the announcements where the country is eligible to participate in the Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102) and where an exporter has evidence to suggest that the FGP would primarily benefit U.S. agricultural exports.
Information on the FGP is available on the Internet at http://www.fas.usda.gov/excredits/facility.html .
(For further information on the FGP for horticultural
commodities, contact Yvette Wedderburn Bomersheim, 202-720-9903).
WORLD TRADE SITUATION AND POLICY UPDATES
First shipment of U.S. apples lands in Chile
In the wake of a recently concluded phytosanitary protocol, the first 43 boxes of Washington State Red and Golden Delicious apples arrived in Santiago on December 4. Following a temporary delay at port, due to a quarantine-related concern, the apples were released just in time for Secretary Glickman to take part in the welcoming ceremony and reception. The bulk of the 43 carton shipment was subsequently delivered to Jumbo Supermarket, the largest supermarket chain in Santiago. The public acceptance was reported to be excellent, with favorable accompanying media coverage.
During bilateral consultations held October 1-2 in Washington, DC, Chile agreed to recognize 26 counties in California and 11 counties in Washington State as being free from apple maggot, Chile's major pest of concern. A 1994 GAO report placed Chile's potential as a market for U.S. fresh fruits at $16 million annually. U.S. apple sales to Chile could eventually reach $4 million per year.