Agriculture Benefits


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Colombia – An Important Market for U.S. Agriculture

Colombia is the United States’ second largest market in South America for agricultural exports – accounting for $832 million in 2010. Key U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia include corn, wheat, barley, soybeans, soybean meal and cotton. Colombia’s agricultural exports are highly complementary and primarily include bananas and tropical fruits not grown in the United States.

Key US Exports

U.S. Farmers and Ranchers to Benefit from Expanded Access, Tariff Elimination

While most Colombian agricultural products enter the United States duty free, U.S. agricultural exports do not receive the same preferential access. For example, Colombian bananas enter the U.S. market duty free, but U.S. apple exports are taxed at 15 percent when entering the Colombian market.

The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will help to level the playing field for U.S. farmers and ranchers by immediately eliminating tariffs on more than 70 percent of U.S. agricultural products, including a variety of fruit, vegetable, meat and processed food products.

The FTA will also eliminate Colombia’s use of a price band system, which currently affects more than 150 products. Elimination of the system will ensure that Colombia will not impose tariffs on U.S. agricultural exports as high as those permitted by the World Trade Organization (WTO), which range between 15 and 388 percent.

U.S. agricultural exporters will reap the following benefits when the FTA enters into force:

  • Barley – Colombia is a growing export market for U.S. barley producers. When the FTA enters into force, tariffs on barley and barley products, which range from 20 to 30 percent, will be eliminated immediately.
  • Corn – U.S. yellow corn exports will immediately receive duty-free access to the Colombian market when the FTA enters into force. U.S. white corn exports will receive duty-free access to the Colombian market over the course of 12 years.
  • Cotton – In 2010, the U.S. exported $100 million worth of cotton to Colombia. The FTA will immediately eliminate Colombian tariffs on all U.S. cotton exports.
  • Soybeans and Related Products – U.S. exporters currently face tariffs of five to 20 percent on soybeans, soybean meal and soybean flour. Upon the implementation of the FTA, those tariffs will be eliminated immediately. 
  • Wheat – The U.S. exported $320 million worth of wheat to Colombia last year. U.S. wheat exports currently face a price band system, with tariffs ranging from 30 to 40 percent. When the FTA enters into force, Colombian tariffs on wheat will be eliminated immediately.
  • Poultry – In 2010, U.S. poultry exports to Colombia totaled an estimated $22 million. Currently, Colombia’s tariffs on poultry and related products range between five and 20 percent. When the FTA enters into force, most of these tariffs will be eliminated immediately, and all will be phased out within 10 years.
  • Pork – Last year, U.S. pork producers exported $17.2 million worth of pork and pork products to Colombia, and faced an average tariff of 20 to 30 percent. Upon implementation of the FTA, Colombia will phase out the bulk of these tariffs within five years, and the remainder within 10 years.

 

The U.S. agriculture community is active in its support of the FTA, as the agreement will help to increase commodity exports, supporting hundreds of thousands of agriculture-related jobs across America.