U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced this weekend that the U.S. and Colombia will enter into their trade agreement one month from now – on May 15th. Kirk called it a very historic step. The American Soybean Association says the agreement will provide a boost for U.S. soybean exports and other American agricultural products to the third largest economy in Central and South America. According to ASA First Vice President Danny Murphy – the enactment of the FTA with Colombia is a tremendous opportunity for soybean farmers. He says the U.S. is steadily making progress toward regaining lost market share in the country – and this agreement will markedly advance that progress.
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. Virtually all remaining tariffs will be eliminated over the next 15 years. The agreement also provides duty free tariff rate quotas on soybean oil – as well as livestock and dairy exports that utilize soybean inputs.
The U.S. exported more than 182-million dollars in soybeans and soybean products to Colombia last year. That’s more than 20-percent of the 832-million dollars in agricultural products. The International Trade Commission estimates that the agreement will expand overall exports to Colombia by more than 1.1-billion dollars and support thousands of additional American jobs.