Bolivia is the latest nation to open to U.S. red meat. Cheyenne McEndaffer, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) director of export services, explains that this is part of a longstanding effort by U.S. trade and agricultural officials to improve access for U.S. meat products throughout South America.
While the region is now mostly open to U.S. pork and beef, McEndaffer notes that Bolivia, like several other South American countries, has plant and product registration requirements that must still be finalized before U.S. exporters can begin shipping to the market. While Bolivia is not a high-volume destination for imported meat, McEndaffer says there are already some inquiries from interested buyers. Bolivia’s import duties are relatively low (10% for most muscle cuts and variety meat, 10% to 20% for processed products), which should help U.S. products gain traction in the market.
Last year Bolivia reported beef imports of 1,831 metric tons, mainly from Brazil along with small volumes from Argentina. Imports were valued at $2.6 million. Pork imports, which were almost entirely from Brazil, totaled 443 metric tons valued at about $1 million.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations. USMEF complies with all equal opportunity, non-discrimination and affirmative action measures applicable to it by contract, government rule or regulation or as otherwise provided by law. USMEF is an equal opportunity employer and provider.