WASHINGTON, April 21, 2003 – Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman and Colombian Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Carlos Gustavo Cano today signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a U.S.-Colombia Consultative Committee on Agriculture (CCA).
"Colombia is our largest export market in South America," said Veneman. "This committee will enhance bilateral trade to benefit both our countries and set the stage for improved communication and coordination in a number of areas including food safety, research and sanitary and phytosanitary issues."
The United States, Colombia and other countries are also currently engaged in negotiations aimed at global agricultural trade reform as part of the World Trade Organization’s ongoing Doha Development Agenda. Negotiations are also proceeding on the hemispheric Free Trade Area of the Americas.
Working together, Colombia and the United States can address bilateral trade issues as they arise, develop recommendations, share ideas and better coordinate policies to benefit farmers, businesses and consumers. Besides strengthening the agricultural relationship between the two countries, this forum will enhance cooperation among our universities, research centers and other institutions.
The first annual meeting of the U.S.-Colombia CCA will take place this year and will be co-chaired by senior officials from USDA and Colombia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.