Trade/Sanitary and Phytosanitary Issues Management
APHIS plays a vital role in ensuring the free flow of agricultural trade. APHIS' efforts include keeping U.S. agricultural industries free from pests and diseases and certifying that the millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries' entry requirements. APHIS makes sure that all imported agricultural products shipped to the United States from abroad meet the Agency's entry requirements to exclude pests and diseases of agriculture.
APHIS International Services -- with personnel stationed overseas and in our headquarters offices in Riverdale, Maryland and Washington, DC -- also focuses on keeping export markets open for American agricultural products by working with VS, PPQ and BRS to eliminate unjustified sanitary or phytosanitary (SPS) barriers - that is, concerns involving plant and animal health - raised by U.S. trading partners. APHIS' team of technical experts, based in the United States and abroad, includes scientists, veterinarians, pathologists, and entomologists that advocate on behalf of U.S. agriculture. They build relationships with their agricultural health and regulatory counterparts in other countries and use scientific principles to make the case for American agricultural exports, explaining to foreign officials why U.S. commodities are safe to import.” APHIS partners with many agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR); USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), the Food and Drug Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).
Trade Issues Resolution
The International Services Trade Support Team (TST) was created in 1992, coinciding with the final negotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and just two years before the conclusion of negotiations that created the World Trade Organization (WTO). Anticipating the impact new international rules set by NAFTA and WTO would have on plant and animal health regulations, APHIS created TST as a focal point for improving internal cohesion and Departmental coordination on technical trade issues. Today, TST contributes to APHIS’ trade facilitation mission by coordinating and analyzing technical and policy information with the aim of breaking down unjustified barriers to U.S. exports. TST works across APHIS programs and with U.S. trade agencies to develop bilateral and multilateral negotiating agendas that address technical trade barriers. TST is currently participating in several SPS interagency teams that are focused on trade negotiations with Europe and Asia. See APHIS Trade
The APHIS Trade Support Staff (TST) is located at our USDA South Building, Washington, D.C.