The Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the USA is going through, freeing Colombian exports from Washington politics. Colombian poultry producers appear to have pulled the wrong straw, however.
Mid-May saw the removal of most of the tariffs on Colombian exports to the USA under the FTA, an agreement signed in 2006 by presidents Bush and Uribe. Before this, 80% of Colombia’s products were not taxed under the previous Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act.
The FTA between Colombia and the USA is a double-edged sword for Colombian poultry farmers. Yes, they can export to the US, but face at the same time a wave of cheaper US chicken. Additionally, the current US phytosanitary restrictions effectively mean that Colombian chicken cannot travel north.
Colombia’s Minister of Trade has promised to help affected industries and the Ministry of Agriculture has earmarked US$571 million to protect rural jobs.
Colombia expects, with the easing of US tariffs to gain one percentage point in growth, create 300,000 new jobs, and increase exports by 10%.