Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., left Sunday for Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, the United States' top three export markets in Latin America.
"One in three jobs in Washington state is dependent on international trade, and I look forward to developing more opportunities to reduce burdensome barriers to these vital markets for our exporters," he said in a statement.
Brazil is a top market for Washington hops and the third largest market for Northwest pears, and Mexico is the top export market for pears and apples and the third largest market for processed potatoes. Colombia is an important market for Washington wheat growers and an emerging market for other Washington products.
Hastings, who is part of a seven-member congressional delegation on the trip, also will be discussing American energy jobs. He is chairman of the House National Resources Committee.