April 27, 2012
With the announcement that the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will be implemented beginning May 15th, Ross Korves, economist with the ProExporter Network, says it's an appropriate time to review the market change for the US-Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement countries which have similar market issues. The agreement is between the US and El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic as separate countries. Half of US exports became duty free immediately, including high-quality cuts of beef, cotton, wheat, soybeans, some fruits and vegetables, processed food products and wine. Other products received improved access through tariff rate quotas, but over-quota tariffs are phased out over 15-20 years. These include beef, pork, dry beans, vegetable oil, poultry, rice, corn and dairy products. The US is also gaining on sanitary and phyto-sanitary issues that are equal in importance with tariff reductions.