Last week U.S. beef gained full access to Colombia for the first time since 2003, as Colombia removed BSE-related restrictions on certain bone-in cuts. Beef derived from Canadian cattle imported into the United States for direct slaughter may also now be exported to Colombia.

Cheyenne McEndaffer, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) technical services manager, says removal of these restrictions will not only allow a wider range of U.S. beef cuts to be shipped to Colombia, but will also help lower production costs because export verification (EV) program requirements are no longer in place. She explains that reducing costs is important, as the U.S. beef industry seeks greater traction is this highly competitive market. U.S. beef exports to Colombia reached about $14.5 million in 2014, but trended lower in 2015.