WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced an agreement between the United States and Chile that will allow the resumption of American beef shipments to Chile. American shipments of beef had been halted since September 2008 pending clarification of a provision of the U.S.-Chile FTA regarding the certification of beef grade labeling.
Today USTR and Chilean officials concluded the agreement with an exchange of letters clarifying the applicable FTA provision. As a result of this clarification the shipment of American beef will resume immediately.
"During these difficult economic times, it is crucial that we unlock every opportunity for robust trade," said Ambassador Ron Kirk. "This agreement will allow our country to resume a healthy export relationship that has nearly doubled in the past year. That is a victory for America's ranchers, the U.S. beef industry, and small businessmen and women who help to prepare this product for export."
In the past year, American beef exports to Chile have grown significantly. The United States shipped approximately $1 million of frozen and fresh beef to Chile between January and September 2008 - twice the amount shipped during the same period in 2007.