The governments of Peru and the US have reached an agreement over the removal of safety net trade barriers on beef, in place since 2003, paving the way for a boom in beef trade.
Certification requirements on certain types of US beef have been imposed by Peru’s veterinary officials for over a decade due to the country’s fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly known as mad cow disease.
Despite the hurdles, US exports of beef to Peru topped $25m last year and the deal, agreed by US Department of Agriculture (USDA) secretary Tom Vilsack, US trade representative (USTR) Michael Froman and Peruvian politicians removes the “burdensome” barriers that have “hampered” trade.
“Since 2009, the USA and Peru have enjoyed one of the strongest bilateral trade relationships in the Western Hemisphere, and today it became much stronger,” said USDA secretary Tom Vilsack after a meeting with political counterparts in Peru.
“Since 2003, USDA and USTR have worked diligently to reopen and expand markets once closed to US beef. This is another win in a long line of successes that led to a near-record US beef and beef product exports in 2015. The Obama administration will continue to work hard around the world to remove unfair barriers and create a more level playing field for America’s farmers, ranchers, producers and rural communities.”
Beef trade with Peru has been greatly helped by the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement (PTPA), which came into force in 2009, and has since turbocharged the beef trade in one of South America’s fastest-growing markets, according to the USDA.
“Peru has been a growing market for American beef and this agreement will only further expand opportunities for American producers and exporters,” said US trade representative Michael Froman.
“Not many years ago, there was little American beef going to Peru, but through the US-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, and agreements like this, we are seeing increased demand for high-quality American beef.”
The landmark agreement reached this week, highlights the fact that Peru has taken into account the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) opinion that US beef carries a “negligible risk” for BSE.
Under the new agreement, Peru will allow the imports of all beef and beef products that come from federally-inspected US beef farms, rather than exclusively from the select businesses that participated in the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Export Verification (EV) program.