ASA welcomes launch of U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

With a proclamation from President Barack Obama, the United States entered into the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement. 

ASA (American Soybean Association) congratulates the governments of both countries for their collaboration and cooperation in the interest of trade expansion.

“The free trade agreement with Colombia holds a great deal of potential for America’s soybean farmers,” said ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Neb. “

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.”

The agreement ensures that 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. 

To commemorate the event, ASA staff joined Colombian Ambassador Gabriel Silva for a reception at the Colombian Embassy in Washington on May 15.

Soybeans and soybean products are the largest U.S. agricultural export commodity, totaling nearly 1.5 billion bushels in 2.011, with a value of more than $22 billion. 

Last year, the U.S. exported more than $182 million in soybeans and soybean products to Colombia, as part of $832 million in agricultural products. 

The International Trade Commission (ITC) estimates that the agreement will expand overall exports to Colombia by more than $1.1 billion and support thousands of additional American jobs.

ASA represents all U.S. soybean farmers on domestic and international issues of importance to the soybean industry. 

ASA’s advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary membership in ASA by more than 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.

Berny Polanía

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