USDA Trade Mission Aims to Create Opportunities for U.S. Agriculture in Panama and Colombia

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14, 2011 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will lead a mission with 26 U.S. businesses to promote trade with Panama and Colombia Nov. 15-17. This is the largest delegation of U.S. companies ever to participate in a USDA agricultural trade mission. The companies represent a wide range of agricultural products including feed, poultry, dairy products, wood and forestry products, seafood, rice, agricultural equipment and more.  

USDA’s goal is to provide participants with firsthand market information, access to government decision makers and one-on-one meetings with business contacts, potential agents, distributers and importers so they can position themselves to enter or expand their presence in the Colombian and Panamanian markets. 

This trade mission is particularly important in the wake of trade promotion agreements with both countries that were recently ratified by Congress. Colombia and Panama are already important agricultural trade partners for the United States, and upon implementation of these agreements, these partnerships will only grow stronger. 

In 2010, U.S. farm exports to Colombia totaled $851 million. When the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement is fully implemented, it’s estimated that U.S. agricultural exports will increase by $371 million annually. The United States exported $463 million worth of agricultural products to Panama last year, which only stands to rise once the U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement is in place and more than half of current U.S. farm exports to Panama become duty free. 

Under the Obama Administration and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack’s leadership,  USDA has continued to expand markets for American goods abroad, worked aggressively to break down trade barriers to trade, and assisted U.S. businesses with the resources needed to reach consumers around the world.

U.S. agricultural exports in fiscal year 2011 reached $137.4 billion, supporting more than 1.1 million jobs in the United States, while the U.S. agricultural trade surplus hit $42.9 billion. Strong export performance means higher incomes for farmers and ranchers, more opportunities for small business owners, and jobs for folks who package, ship, and market agricultural products. By increasing worldwide agricultural exports, USDA is helping achieve the National Export Initiative goal of doubling all U.S. exports by the end of 2014. 
 
For a complete list of U.S. companies participating in the Panama/Colombia agricultural trade mission, please see below: 

U.S. Companies Participating in Panama/Colombia Agricultural Trade Mission  

  • American Agrotrading
  • American Trading International, Inc. 
  • Archer Daniels Midland Rice, Inc.  
  • Case New Holland
  • Cherokee Trading
  • Commercial Lynks, Inc.
  • Dairy Farmers of America
  • Dantzler, Inc. 
  • Interra International, Inc. 
  • Intervision Foods
  • JM Grain
  • KH International 
  • Land O’Lakes
  • Mirasco, Inc. 
  • Novick Industries, Ltd. 
  • Ocean Spray Technology Group
  • Paramount Export Company 
  • PD Industries, Inc. 
  • Riceland Foods, Inc. 
  • The Scoular Company 
  • Steele and Company
  • Tomex International, Inc. 
  • TRC Trading Corporation
  • Verdant Ocean, Inc. 
  • Vilas and Company, Inc. 
  • Zafi Beverages and Agriculture Technologies 

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