The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is set to take effect May 15. The American Soybean Association (ASA) congratulates the governments of the U.S. and Colombia for working collaboratively to complete the review of the agreement, which will provide a boost for U.S. soybean exports and other American agricultural products to Central and South America’s third largest economy.
“The enactment of the free trade agreement with Colombia next month is a tremendous opportunity for soybean farmers, as it will expand a valuable export market for our products,” said ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss. “We are making steady progress toward regaining lost market share in Colombia, and this agreement will markedly advance that progress. We applaud the efforts of the Obama and Santos Administrations in seeing the free trade agreement with Colombia enacted next month.”
As part of the agreement, more than half of all U.S. farm exports to Colombia—including soybeans and soybean meal and flour—will become duty-free, with virtually all of the remaining tariffs to be eliminated over the next 15 years. The agreement also provides duty free tariff rate quotas (TRQ) on soybean oil, as well as livestock and dairy exports that utilize soybean inputs.
The U.S. wheat industry also welcomes the announcement. They say implementation of the FTA will eliminate all tariffs on U.S. wheat imports into Colombia. The agreement creates a level playing field for U.S. wheat farmers, as export competitors Canada and Argentina already enjoy duty-free access to the market.
“We are extremely pleased to see this FTA set for implementation,” said Alvaro de la Fuente, U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) regional vice president for South America. “Our extensive efforts over the nearly six years since the agreement was first signed have finally become a reality and U.S. wheat exports will now compete on an equal basis with other major exporters.”
Colombia is currently the second largest destination for U.S. wheat in South America. In marketing year 2010/11, Colombia imported about 800,000 metric tons of U.S. wheat from five of the six U.S. wheat classes
Source: AFA & U.S. Wheat Associates