Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen will lead a 14-member agriculture delegation to Colombia next week as part of a larger trade mission sponsored by the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS). Separate from the FAS trip, the group will also travel to Lima, Peru. The mission will focus on expanding markets for Minnesota beef, pork, poultry, corn, and soybean exports.
Since implementation of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in 2012, U.S. farm and food exports to Colombia have more than doubled, reaching a record $2.9 billion last year. In 2018, 100% of Colombia’s soybean imports, 97% of corn imports, and 91% of pork and pork product imports were coming from the U.S.
Ten years after the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement was enacted, U.S. exports to Peru continue to set records – valued at $1.4 billion in 2018, an 8% increase over 2017.
“With all the recent focus on tariffs and trade barriers, we need to find ways to bolster, not break down, our trade relations in ag export markets,” said Commissioner Petersen. “The export potential for Minnesota ag products in these two countries is great and it’s a good time for Minnesota to establish trade relations in earnest.”
The delegation will be in Bogota, Colombia from June 4-5 and in Lima, Peru June 6-7.
Representatives from the following agencies and organizations will be traveling on the trade mission:
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Minnesota Beef Council
Minnesota Corn Growers Association
Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation
Minnesota Farmers Union
Minnesota Pork Board
Minnesota Pork Producers Association
Minnesota Soybean Growers Association
Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council
Minnesota Turkey Research & Promotion Council and Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota
University of Minnesota Extension
Margaret Hart, MDA Communications