USDA says joint efforts helped lift ban on U.S. poultry exports to Colombia

Colombia recently resumed imports of U.S. poultry products following joint efforts by the USDA and U.S. Trade Representative.

On June 1, Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture instructed all ports to deny import permits of these products on concerns of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. The temporary ban cost the U.S. nearly $1.1 million in export value between June 3 and June 8.

Colombia is the 10th largest export market for U.S. poultry products. The ban was reversed on June 8.

The agencies, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service along with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, leveraged the free trade agreement to pressure Colombian officials to lift the ban. USDA staff in Colombia also directed U.S. companies, Colombian importers, local trade associations, and State Department Economic officials to communicate the impact of the ban on bilateral relations with Colombia’s Ministries of Agriculture and Trade.

In a release, the USDA said the denial of these import licenses, stuck shipments of U.S. poultry, and the uncertainty of market access directly impacted consumers and American businesses. Tyson Foods, PriceSmart, and McDonald’s were some of the main companies that were affected by the ban along with larger Colombian importers, such as Nestlé – Colombia.

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