With a population of 45 million people, Colombia is an important market in Latin America for key U.S. agricultural products
In 2011, Colombia placed 26th as a destination for U.S. agricultural exports (HS 1 through 24), and 6th in Latin America, with $963 million. Some of the most important U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia in 2011 included wheat ($219 million), corn ($169), cotton ($136 million), and soybean oil ($77 million).
The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will provide U.S. businesses an opportunity to recover lost market share
Delay in passing the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) allowed other Colombian FTA partners, such as Argentina, to take significant market share away from the U.S., with agricultural exports decreasing by 53% from 2008 through 2010.
Upon implementation of the FTA, which is May 15, 2012, the United States not only will receive equal or preferential treatment vis-à-vis third party competitors, but also will gain duty-free access on 77% of all agricultural tariff lines, accounting for 52% of current U.S. exports to Colombia.
Other benefits include:
* The existing price band system that changes duties every two weeks for the primary U.S. agricultural products exported to Colombia is eliminated.
* Duties are immediately removed on wheat, barley, soybeans, soybean meal and flour, high-quality beef, bacon, almost all fruit and vegetable products, peanuts, whey, cotton, and the vast majority of processed products.
* The remaining tariffs on agriculture exports are to be eliminated within 15 years, except for chicken leg quarters and spent fowls and rice, which will be eliminated in 18 and 19 years, respectively.
* The agreement also provides duty-free tariff rate quotas (TRQ) on standard beef, chicken leg quarters, dairy products, corn, sorghum, animal feeds, rice, and soybean oil.