We can’t specify the cities that will benefit the most because as a whole, with the FTA, the whole country wins. Never the less, cities with ports on the Caribbean, Cartagena, Barranquilla and Santa Marta, or on the Pacific, like Buenaventura have already seen their economies boost due to the effect of ore open trade treaties.
Colombian products with 0% tariff
- 99% of Colombian qualifying industrial and textile goods will become duty free upon the implementation of the FTA.
- 89% of Colombian agricultural goods will become duty free upon implementation of the FTA.
- Duties on many other tariff lines will be phased out over a period of up to 15 years, with some agricultural tariff rate quotas. While Colombia is expected to fill its new sugar TRQ, the FTA is likely to have a minor effect on U.S. imports and production of sugar and sugar containing products.
The Colombia- U.S. FTA promotes trade in goods by eliminating tariff barriers, and by promoting the harmonization of technical regulations between both parties. As a result, FTA supports economic growth in both countries.
The FTA supports American jobs and improves American competitiveness since many American businesses use imports under this program as inputs to manufacture goods in the United States.
It is expected that the agreement will be effective in the second half of 2012, once Colombia accomplish all the agreement laws, regulations and policies. USTR is helping to accomplish these requirements as quickly as possible.
Colombia’s government is ensuring labor laws by promoting more protection rights for workers, to please and accomplish the strategic goals of the bilateral Labor Action Plan.
The USTR General Counsel, Tim Reif said that the FTA with Colombia is “well on the road” and is likely to be the next FTA to see implementation -GBD event on the pending FTAs.
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk said “USTR has already started the work necessary to bring these agreements into force as soon as possible”- September 2011.
Colombia asked assistance in its labor to upgrade its workers rights from both the International Labor Organization and U.S. government. Mr. Kirk said:“It feels like they are absolutely meeting both the letter and spirit of what we asked them to do”.
Colombian products with 0% tariff
Colombian Agricultural goods
will become duty free upon the implementation of the FTA.
Colombian qualifying industrial and textile goods
will become duty free upon the implementation of the FTA
up to 15 years
Duties on many other tariff lines
will be phased out over that period
The approval of the FTA extends the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act, ATPDEA, which was renewed until July 2013. The tariff preferences that many Colombian products have had shall be maintained with the FTA and therefore, sectors such as flowers, apparel, tobacco, cocoa, plastics and leather manufacturing, among others, shall be benefited.
In fact, both the ATPDEA preferences as well as the others that were agreed upon, shall be maintained over time, given that their persistence shall not be subject to unilateral U.S. Government and Congress decisions.
The FTA is an agreement that generates opportunities for all Colombians, as it contributes to the creation of quality jobs and the improvement of the national economy’s performance. It benefits the exports sector, which will be able to sell its products and services under favorable conditions in the U.S. market.
The subjects that were negotiated were market access, in its two aspects (industrial and agricultural), intellectual property, investment regime, Government acquisitions, conflict resolution, competency, e-trade, services, environment and labor, among others.
The text of the agreement is embodied in one preamble and 23 chapters. The chapters cover aspects that reflect the general agreed-upon disciplines, many of which are common in multilateral and bilateral negotiations, and incorporate particular elements obtained by Colombia as well as by the United States in the negotiation.
For more details on the agreement, visit the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism website at: http://www.tlc.gov.co/
FAQs about TLC
The new mayors and governors have the challenge of boosting the competitiveness of their regions to address the benefits the FTA will bring. The Government will work with them hand in hand. The idea is that, through a joint and coordinated effort, the different regions and municipalities can get to know, not only the details of what is being done to identify opportunities for each region, but that regional business people become aware of the regulations that need to meet to successfully reach this market.
After the legislative approval of the FTA with the US and its imminent entry into force, an outreach plan in the 32 provinces and in twelve US states with the greater opportunities began. This outreach strategy aims at teaching business people the opportunities that are possible. Currently, a program to strengthen management capacity in municipalities and departments that are most in need have been devised.
The national government plans to give advice to about 500 municipalities to help them start their own Development Plan, their first cost and investment budget, as well as to help them in structuring their first projects.
There is been a significant progress in this topic, such as in the Colombian Caribbean, a region that today is better prepared to deal with trade agreements. They have efficient ports and free zones with industrial space available with which to compete and attract foreign investment. The Pacific is also going through a transformation stage, which must accelerate more, to take advantage of the treaty. It is urgent to advance in the so delayed channel access.
No, this is not so. The Government is determined to move forward in a work that will provide the country with one of the most modern airports in Latin America. The expansion of Eldorado International Airport in Bogota is intended to reach the highest standards of airports in the region, as Tocumen in Panama City, Jorge Chavez in Lima, and Benito Juarez in Mexico City.
The goal is to go beyond the 60 thousand square meters that currently exist, to an area of 180,000 square meters. Of that total, 110,000 square meters correspond to the international terminal, expected to be ready in the second half of this year. The remaining area corresponds to the construction that will be done in the area where the existing terminal sits, and it is scheduled to be ready by August 2014.
There is a strong commitment to identify infrastructure and technology projects to be financed with royalties. This undoubtedly will be a priority to boost regional development. It is worth remembering that when the FTA negotiations began, this also led to the identification of a so-called Domestic Agenda, in which all regions were involved, and each formed their committees. 4,700 betting actions were identified, including those of production shares and the identification of who would run them. The National Government did the same to identify those regulations and investments that have the greatest impact with the FTA. All that evolved into what is now called the National Competitiveness System. To this, the field of innovation was added.
From the time when the Government announced that it would support the development and economic growth of five of its engines, we began working on an infrastructure plan. At that time, there was an estimated investment projection of $ 100 billion to be executed in 10 years. This strategy includes work on roads, waterways, railways, ports, and airports.
The first, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Transport, includes the integration of a road connector that will start in Buenaventura, continues through Arauca, and ends in Puerto Carreño. The idea behind this major work is to connect the country with Venezuela. Additionally, earlier this year, the Government handed over the first 10 kilometers of the new highway road project of the Ruta del Sol, located in the municipality of Puerto Salgar and the village of Puerto Araujo in Cundinamarca. The total construction investment in the Sector 2 is of $ 3.6 trillion, and has an area of 528 kilometers, stretching from Puerto Salgar to San Roque, in Cesar.