McKinney leads trade mission to Colombia

Ted McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, visits Bogotá, Colombia, for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s largest-ever international trade mission June 4-7.

BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA — Ted McKinney led the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s largest international trade mission to Colombia June 4-7.

McKinney, undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said that Colombia and Panama are among the fastest growing markets in the western hemisphere for U.S. ag products.

The United States entered into free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama in 2012, and since then, agricultural export growth has been robust.

“There has been a lot of success in the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, and a lot of excitement around here,” McKinney said.

“Our food and farm exports to Colombia have nearly tripled, from $1.1 billion in 2012 to a record $2.9 billion in 2018. And while Panama’s a much smaller market, we’ve also seen our exports grow significantly, from $490 million in 2012 to $683 million last year.”

McKinney leads trade mission to Colombia

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service, export growth to Colombia has increased, now ranking 12th among U.S. agricultural exports.

A record number of people attended the ag trade mission, including 54 businesses and six state departments of agriculture.

“We have a very balanced level of trade in ag with Colombia,” McKinney said. “The primary products from Colombia to the U.S. are ones we don’t really focus on or produce, including coffee, bananas, cut flowers and hass avocados. That market has expanded or even exploded across the U.S.

“Around 80% to 85% of the products going from the U.S. to Colombia include corn, soybeans, DDGs, wheat and ethanol.”

Learn more about this and other USDA trade missions by visiting www.fas.usda.gov/topics/trade-missions and following FAS on Twitter at @USDAForeignAg.

Erica Quinlan can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 193, or equinlan@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Quinlan.

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