Rice Exports to Colombia to Expand, Say USDA, Trade Officials

By Teaganne Finn

U.S. paddy rice exports to Colombia will expand because of the fast-growing share price, the Agriculture Department and U.S. Trade Representative said Aug. 17.

The total share of U.S. rice exports to Colombia reached $15 million in 2016. Colombia is the U.S.'s 12th-largest export market for food and agricultural products and has already established close trade ties, with exports valued at more than $2.4 billion in 2016, the press release said.

“The agreement, combined with preferential access under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA), will further accelerate increased U.S. exports of food and agriculture to Colombia,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and USTR Robert Lighthizer said in the press release.

More Ports Equal More Rice

The previous U.S. paddy rice agreement in 2012 had strict and costly requirements related to phytosanitary concerns, but the new agreement will lift them. Paddy rice is being exported out of Barranquilla, the only port previously open to U.S. exporters, according to the statement.

Paddy rice exports have increased to $79 million per year, compared with $3 million in 2012, the year before the CTPA entered into force.

“This outcome is a result of the Administration’s efforts to enforce international trade commitments on behalf of the American people, and to deepen our bilateral ties with key trading partners, particularly allies like Colombia,” Lighthizer said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Teaganne Finn in Washington at tfinn@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at pHendrie@bna.com

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