U.S.-Chilean Trade:

Developments in the Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry Sectors

GGD-93-88: Published: Apr 1, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed bilateral trade between the United States and Chile, focusing on: (1) U.S. trade and investment in Chile's agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors; (2) the development of Chile's agriculture, fishery, and forestry exports to the United States; (3) how Chilean horticultural exports complement or compete with U.S. domestic production; and (4) impediments to increasing bilateral agricultural trade.

GAO found that: (1) in 1991, U.S. agriculture exports to Chile totalled 13 percent of Chile's total agriculture imports in 1991; (2) the United States was the principal source of foreign investment in Chile, but agriculture, forestry, and fisheries investment was insignificant; (3) in 1991, Chile became the second largest supplier of agricultural products to the United States which was the principal market for agricultural, fishery, and forestry exports; (4) Chilean agricultural exports have increased by about 60 percent since 1989, fishery exports have increased by 215 percent since 1986, and forestry exports have increased 240 percent; (5) although Chile's fruit exports generally complement U.S. production, U.S. fruit and vegetable growers are concerned about the continuing increase in Chilean imports and their effect upon future U.S. agricultural production; (6) the impediments to U.S.-Chilean agricultural export trade included Chile's protection of domestic production price supports and its preferential tariffs for neighboring Latin American countries; (7) U.S. trade barriers included marketing orders which regulate crop marketing and price fluctuations, legislation protecting domestic agricultural price supports, and plant and animal health requirements; and (8) attempts to expand U.S.-Chilean trade and investment included low bilateral import tariff rates, support for programs to strengthen Latin American economies by reducing debt and supplying loans, and increased cooperation in setting agricultural policies.

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