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Cablegate: Chile Announces Market Access for U.S. Poultry

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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSG #0114/01 0362028
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 052028Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2739
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0789
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 5446
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ FEB BRASILIA 0170
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 3916
RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION 3318
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 1664
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 1804

UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000114

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD ECON ENRG PREL SENV CI
SUBJECT: CHILE ANNOUNCES MARKET ACCESS FOR U.S. POULTRY

Ref: 07 SANTIAGO 1979

1. SUMMARY: On January 31, Chile opened its market to imports of
U.S. chicken and turkey. In a meeting that day with the Ambassador,
Minister of Agriculture Hornkohl made the announcement official.
The Ambassador and Hornkohl agreed on the importance of continuing
to open bilateral markets, noting the almost doubling of agriculture
exports under the Free Trade Agreement. Hornkohl said the next step
for Chile would be adding more value to its agriculture sector, and
it would look to the U.S. for help. In the region, Chile would look
increasingly to assist its neighbors improve their agricultural
capacity. END SUMMARY.

Your System Is the Same as Ours
-------------------------------

2. After years of negotiations, on January 31 Chile recognized the
U.S. system of poultry processing and inspections as equivalent to
its own. The U.S. granted Chile the same recognition on December 3,
2007. While Chile is unlikely to be a major market for U.S. poultry
exports, the fact that mutual access was granted as a result of
recognizing both systems' equivalency should aid further U.S. access
worldwide. For its part, Chile has long sought access to the USD 60
billion annual poultry market in the U.S. In coming years, access
could add substantially to Chile's 2007 (as of November) USD 3.3
billion in agriculture exports to the U.S.

Ambassador's Meeting with Agriculture Minister
--------------------------------------------- -

3. In the Ambassador's January 31 courtesy call on new Agriculture
Minister Marigen Hornkohl, both agreed on the fundamental importance
to the trade relationship of reverse seasons, which gives access to
products their own market could not produce year-round. Hornkohl
told the Ambassador she viewed bilateral market access as not only
important to trade but also to the more fundamental goals of
deepening democratic, institutional and cultural ties.

4. The Ambassador welcomed the doubling of agriculture exports
between the U.S. and Chile under the FTA. Hornkohl agreed, pointing
out the trade's "good balance" relative to populations. She thanked
both sides for "very professional work" in opening markets further
and cited the importance of continuing to work in this area.

5. Hornkohl said the next challenge for Chile would be adding more
value to its agriculture exports. Finding ways to put innovation
into practice was the next frontier. For this, ties to the U.S.
would be key. The Ambassador agreed and said he would like to see
more U.S. ties to universities and other technology leaders.

Energy and Agriculture
----------------------

6. The Ambassador said he had been discussing Chile's energy needs
and the potential of biofuels with Minister of Energy Tokman
(reftel). He offered that there was much more that Chile could do
in this area. Hornkohl agreed and said Chile's lack of reliable
energy sources was a clear weakness and there was a need for
increasing use of renewable energy. There was much arable land in
Chile still available for planting biofuels. She expressed interest
in further cooperation with the U.S. in this and other research
fields.

Always More to Do
-----------------

7. Both agreed that despite the success of mutual access for
poultry, there remained much to do. For Chile, access to the U.S.
for its citrus fruit, oranges and grapefruit, was the next step on
the agricultural roadmap. For the U.S., expanding access to Chile
for red meat and chilled pork was the next. To further ties between
the U.S. and Chile, the Ambassador said he would seek an invitation
from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Schafer for Hornkohl to visit the
U.S. She welcomed the possibility of an official visit.

8. Hornkohl said that while Chile did not engage in central
planning from the agriculture ministry, she was searching for ways
to provide the sector, especially its small and medium enterprises,
more information and access, including on global warming, as she
thought Chile was beginning to experience some climate change. The
Ambassador noted Chile's importance as a positive example in the
region. Hornkohl agreed and said Chile was actively working with
neighbors like Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru in areas such as capacity
building. Chile wants to be an active and positive model for them
as they develop their agriculture sectors further.

9. COMMENT. Chile is a model agricultural leader in South America
and the developing world. The real value to the U.S. of the market
access Chile granted was in the recognition of our system as
equivalent rather than any specific dollar amount of poultry Chile
will import. Market access for the U.S. on these terms should
ultimately help U.S. agriculture negotiations and access in the
region and beyond.
SIMONS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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