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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (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 also keeps export markets open for American agricultural products by working 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. In fiscal year (FY) 2011, APHIS played a direct role in opening new markets and retaining and expanding existing market access for U.S. agricultural products valued at $1.68 billion.

APHIS works closely with its partners at USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative to maintain a coordinated, strategic approach to resolving SPS trade-barrier issues and other trade policy challenges facing the Agency. In addition, APHIS personnel play leadership roles within international standard-setting organizations, such as the World Organization for Animal Health and the International Plant Protection Convention, that develop science-based standards for the safe trade in agricultural products between countries.

APHIS also helps to resolve urgent problems involving U.S. shipments detained at foreign ports of entry. APHIS personnel stationed in countries overseas work closely with their foreign counterparts in such situations to answer their questions, provide requested information, and hopefully negotiate a favorable outcome for the U.S. exporter. In FY11, APHIS successfully obtained the release over 300 individual shipments of U.S. agricultural products, worth more than $90 million.

APHIS is committed to removing trade barriers related to animal and plant health concerns, protecting and expanding existing markets, and opening new market access for U.S. agricultural exports. See below for more information on the outcomes of APHIS' efforts on behalf of exporters in FY2012 or click on the links to the right to learn more about the services APHIS provides for agricultural exporters.

Supporting International Trade Video


Jan 26, 2015 Statement from Secretary Vilsack on Expanded Market Access for U.S. Grown Apples to China; Agreement expected to boost apple exports by $100 million per year

Aug 22, 2014  USDA Reopens Chinese Market Access for California Citrus


APHIS Trade Twitter Feed

May 18, 2015 APHIS facilitates China’s exemption for rendered poultry and feather meal from avian influenza restrictions. Worth estimated at $98 million per year

May 14, 2015 Protocol exempting some powdered poultry meat products from avian influenza restrictions negotiated with Japan is worth $2 million per year

May 7, 2015 Certificates for bovine bone chips and hides to Japan successfully negotiated, worth an estimated $35 million per year

April 24, 2015 Chile recognizes US negligible risk status for BSE, facilitating efforts related to market access

April 17, 2015 Mexico reopens market for US slaughter cattle, worth an estimated $15 million per year

April 17, 2015 APHIS achieved market access for US Pork to Peru, worth $5 million per year.

March 31, 2015 Philippines recognizes US as negligible risk for BSE, lifts last restrictions on market access for US beef. FY14 market value at $52.7 million

March 13, 2015 USDA reopens Vietnamese market to beef and beef products from U.S. cattle over 30 months old. Market value $5 million per year

March 9, 2015 Macau and Philippines recognize OIE guidelines acknowledging US as negligible risk for BSE. Additional beef exports valued up to $5 million per year

February 11, 2015 APHIS negotiates with EU, opens European market for US products used to make cosmetics effective 2/23/15. Market value is 10 million per year

February 4, 2015 APHIS, FAS and Pakistan reach agreement that will allow US cattle to be exported to Pakistan, an emerging market for US cattle

February 3, 2015 APHIS reaches agreement with Netherlands to open their market for US pollen used in research. Market value is $1 million per year

January 26, 2015 USDA gains market access to China for all US apple varieties. Market value estimate $100 million in first full shipping season

Tweet Archive >> 


APHIS Trade Blogs

April 9, 2013 New Export Markets, New Opportunities for Rural America

Mar 15, 2013 USA Pears Enter the Chinese Market for the First Time
-- Photos

May 31, 2012 APHIS works to reopen Chinese export market for Virginia and South Carolina logs

April 2, 2012 Removing Barriers to Trade Benefits Our Farmers, Businesses


Please submit your written comments about the current challenges and new approaches for agricultural trade to Trade.Comments@aphis.usda.gov.

Additional Information