The U.S. and Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement is now in force. According to Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack, – as of Tuesday, U.S. agricultural exporters receive duty-free access on more than half of the products we currently export to Colombia, and virtually all remaining tariffs will be eliminated within 15 years. Estimates show that the tariff reductions in the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will expand total U.S. exports by more than 1.1-billion dollars, while increasing U.S. GDP by 2.5-billion.
For agriculture, the agreement with South America’s third-largest economy achieves two key trade objectives for the United States: it immediately provides vastly improved access to Colombia’s market, and it levels the playing field with respect to third-country competitors. Under the agreement, American farmers and ranchers can expect to see their exports grow by more than 370-million dollars, or more than one-third of the current total.
Colombia will immediately eliminate duties on wheat, barley, soybeans, soybean meal and flour, high-quality beef, bacon, almost all fruit and vegetable products, wheat, peanuts, whey, cotton, and the vast majority of processed products. The Colombia TPA also provides duty free tariff rate quotas on standard beef, chicken leg quarters, dairy products, corn, sorghum, animal feeds, rice, and soybean oil.
Steve Wellman, President of the American Soybean Association, and a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Nebraska, says – the pact expands a valuable and growing export market for American soybeans, meal, oil and products that require soy inputs like dairy, meat and poultry. The agreement also helps us regain lost market share in Central and South America’s third largest economy. Last year, the U.S. exported more than 182-million dollars in soybeans and soybean products to Colombia.
China, Japan and South Korea Considering FTA
After a decade of discussions, China, Japan and South Korea have agreed to soon launch negotiations on a three-way free trade pact. Officials say the Japan-China-Korea FTA will be – an extremely important piece of economic cooperation. According to the official Xinhua news agency, leaders also – agreed to a three-way investment treaty – one stepping stone to the bigger and much more contentious goal of a free trade deal.
Negotiations are expected to be difficult. Standing in the way are tensions on the Korean peninsula, political distrust, trade barriers and diverging investment policies. The three nations are major traders, and together accounted for 19.6 percent of the world’s economy and 18.5 percent of its exports in 2010.
Source: NAFB News service