The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement eliminates tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, correcting the current tariff imbalance in agricultural trade between our countries, created in part by congressional passage and extension of the Andean Trade Preference Act (ATPA). Elimination of Colombia’s duties in the agricultural sector would create new opportunities for American farmers and ranchers in this market, particularly relative to other suppliers that already have trade agreements with Colombia.

“Under this agreement, Colombia will immediately eliminate tariffs on soybeans and soy meal and flour,” Wellman said. “It will provide immediate duty-free access for crude soybean oil through a 31,200-ton quota with four percent annual growth and will phase-out the out-of-quota tariff of 24 percent for crude soybean oil over 10 years. Colombia also will phase-out its 24 percent tariff for refined soybean oil over 5 years.”

The United States already has a large share of the Panamanian agricultural market that must be protected. Averaged across all agricultural products, the United States supplies 53 percent of Panamanian agricultural imports. For the commodities most important to the United States, the share is more than 80 percent. The U.S-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will prevent other countries, specifically other Latin and North American suppliers, from taking some of the current U.S. share of the Panamanian market. In addition, Panama has completed a trade agreement with Canada. If this agreement goes into effect before the U.S. agreement, Canadian exporters will gain a significant competitive advantage over the United States in the market.

“There is an urgent need for passage of these agreements,” Wellman said. “The Panama FTA would permanently lock-in duty-free treatment of U.S. exports of soybeans, soybean meal, and crude soybean oil.”

These three agreements contain significant export gains for U.S. agriculture that will only be realized by passage and implementation. Conversely, inaction has proven to result in loss of U.S. market share and forfeiture of economic growth. The U.S. government’s inability to move these agreements benefits of our foreign competitors and harms U.S. agriculture.

“ASA urges that Congress and the Administration support and pass these agreements now and take full advantage of the opportunity they provide for America’s economic growth,” Wellman said.

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 over 21,000 farmers in 31 states where soybeans are grown.