USDA trade agreements send beef to Mexico and pork to Peru

USDA trade agreements send beef to Mexico and pork to Peru
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday it had reached agreements to allow the U.S. to export slaughter cattle to Mexico and fresh and chilled pork to Peru.

The agreements, Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackTom VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE said, will give U.S. beef and pork producers greater access to consumers in the two countries.

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"Mexico is an important market for U.S. cattle producers, with the potential to import $15 million of live U.S. cattle per year and we expect Peru's market could generate $5 million annually in additional pork sales," he said in a news release.

The agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, which takes effect immediately, will allow U.S. producers to export slaughter cattle for the first time in over a decade. The USDA said it’s been working with Mexico since 2008 to re-open this market.

USDA said it's been in negotiations with Peru since 2012. The agency plans to update its Food Safety and Inspection Service export library with the new requirements for pork and pork product exports.

American agriculture exports have been the strongest within the last six years, USDA said. In 2014, American farmers and ranchers exported a record $152.5 billion in food and agricultural products.