U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement
The U.S.-Colombia FTA was approved by the U.S. Congress on Oct. 12, 2011. It was approved by the Colombian Congress in 2007.
In February 2006, the United States and Colombia concluded their negotiations for a trade promotion deal. "An agreement with Colombia is an essential component of our regional strategy to advance free trade within our hemisphere, combat narco-trafficking, build democratic institutions, and promote economic development," then U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman said in a statement.
In November 2006, President Bush signed the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, sometimes referred to as the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement.
U.S. - Colombia FTA:
House: 262 Ayes - 167 Noes
Senate: 66 Ayes - 33 Noes
Ayes: Berman, Bilbray, Bono Mack, Calvert, Campbell, Cardoza, Costa, Davis, Denham, Dreier, Farr, Gallegly, Herger, Hunter, Issa, Lewis, Lungren, McCarthy, McClintock, McKeon, Miller, Nunes, Rohrabacher, Royce, Feinstein
Noes: Baca, Bass, Becerra, Capps, Chu, Eshoo, Filner, Garamendi, Honda, Lee, Lofgren, Matsui, McNerney, Miller, Napolitano, Pelosi, Richardson, Roybal-Allard, Sanchez (Linda), Sanchez (Loretta), Schiff, Sherman, Speier, Stark, Thompson, Waters, Waxman, Woolsey, Boxer
In 2013, the United States exported $18.4 billion worth of goods to Colombia, a 28 percent increase from 2011. Total trade between the U.S. and Colombia amounted to over $40 billion.
Colombia is an emerging economy that is providing California with a quickly expanding export market and opportunity for future collaboration. Since 2006, exports to Colombia have more than tripled. In 2013, Californian exports to Colombia totaled just over $757 million.
Per the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement offers tremendous opportunities for California's exporters. When the Agreement enters into force, 80 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Colombia, including nearly all information technology products; mining, agriculture, and construction equipment; medical and scientific equipment; auto parts; paper products; and chemicals, will be duty-free immediately. The remaining tariffs phase out over 10 years. U.S. farmers and ranchers will also become much more competitive, benefiting from immediate duty-free treatment of 77 percent of current U.S. agriculture exports. Key U.S. agriculture exports such as cotton, wheat, soybeans, high-quality beef, apples, pears, peaches, cherries, and almonds will be duty-free upon entry into force of the Agreement. Colombia will phase out all other agricultural tariffs within 19 years.
Latin America Trade Coalition Fact Sheet
CalChamber Urges Support for Trade Agreements
Long-pending free trade agreements (FTA) with Colombia, Panama and South Korea will be considered today by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. CalChamber, January 25, 2011
The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business. New multilateral, sectoral and regional trade agreements ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans.
Reasons for Position
This Free Trade Agreement is a critical elements of the U.S. strategy to liberalize trade through multilateral, regional and bilateral initiatives.
- Bilateral and regional agreements will complement the possible goal of creating a Free Trade Area of the Americas.
- The FTA will increase momentum toward lowering trade barriers and set a positive example for other small economies in the Western Hemisphere.
Andean Trade Preference Act Extension
In December 2009, President Obama signed legislation to extend the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA).
ATPA ensures that products from several trading partners in South America continue to enter the United States duty-free. With this extension, the US is committed to continue economic growth in our hemisphere with a global system based on free and open trade. Congress extended the ATPA, ensuring duty-free access to the U.S. market for trading partners in South America, including Colombia and Peru.
The ATPA also allows for suspending trade preferences with countries that do not live up their promises. Unfortunately, Bolivia has failed to cooperate with the United States on important efforts to fight drug trafficking, so President Bush proposed to suspend Bolivia's trade preferences until it fulfills its obligations.