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Ag Commissioner Leads Trade Mission to Colombia and Peru
Minnesota Ag Connection - 06/11/2019

Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen led a 14-member agriculture delegation to Colombia last 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 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 was in Bogota, Colombia, and in Lima, Peru.

Representatives from the following agencies and organizations participated in 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 and Promotion Council / Chicken and Egg Association of Minnesota

- University of Minnesota Extension

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