NCC Joins in Support of Colombia, Peru FTAs

The NCC is part of a coalition of food and agriculture organizations urging prompt Congressional consideration and passage of the free trade agreements recently concluded and signed with Colombia and Peru.

Published: February 27, 2002
Updated: February 21, 2007

February 20, 2007

Dear Member of Congress:

The undersigned food and agriculture organizations, representing the vast majority of U.S. farmers, ranchers, food processors and exporters, wish to express their strong support for the free trade agreements (FTA) recently concluded and signed with Colombia and Peru.  We urge prompt congressional consideration and passage of both of these agreements. 

Both of these FTAs provide important new market access benefits that will stimulate U.S. exports, create U.S. jobs and strengthen rural economies.  Indeed, the Colombia and Peru Trade Promotion Agreements are widely viewed as being the best ever negotiated on behalf of U.S. agriculture.  Many U.S. food and agricultural products will become eligible for duty-free treatment in these countries immediately upon entry into force of the agreements, and virtually all will receive duty-free treatment over specified phase-in periods.  For example:

  • Under the Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, U.S. food and agricultural products that will receive immediate duty-free treatment include beef, cotton, wheat, soybeans, soybean meal, high-quality whey products, apples, pears, peaches, cherries and many processed food products.  Products that will benefit from improved market access right away include corn, poultry, fruits and vegetables and dairy products.  In addition, Colombia will eliminate its “price-band” system, which limits several agricultural imports.
  • The United States can expect to see improved prospects for a wide range of commodities and high-value U.S. food products under the Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, including wheat, feed grains, cotton, oilseeds and products, rice, dairy products, meats, poultry, processed foods, pet foods, apples and other fruits, juices, distilled spirits and wine.  Over 90 percent of current trade will become eligible for free access immediately and, as part of the Agreement, Peru will eliminate its “price-band” system, which limits imports of several commodities.

In addition, both of these countries has taken important steps to eliminate key sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to U.S. exports, including lifting meat inspection barriers to our beef, pork and poultry products, which are tremendously important on their own but also have a strong carryover into high-value processed products.

These FTAs will also correct an inequity that U.S. exporters of farm products encounter in most markets around the world—U.S. tariffs are much lower than those our products face in other countries.  Indeed, as a result of the Generalized System of Preferences and the Andean Trade Preference and Drug Eradication Act, 90 percent of products exported by Colombia to the United States already enter duty free.  For Peru the number is 98 percent.

We urge the Congress to provide to U.S. food and agriculture the same trade benefits it already has extended to farmers and ranchers in Colombia and Peru.  The preferential trade deals are one-way trade deals that provide no direct benefits to our farmers and ranchers.  The bilateral FTAs provide reciprocal trade benefits and generate U.S. exports, create U.S. jobs and enhance the economic well-being of U.S. farming communities. 

We urge you to move forward as soon as possible to approve the implementing bills for the FTAs with Colombia and Peru under the TPA process.

Sincerely,

 

American Bakers Association

American Cotton Shippers Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Feed Industry Association

American Frozen Food Institute

American Meat Institute

American Soybean Association

Animal Health Institute

Blue Diamond Growers

Commodity Markets Council

Corn Refiners Association

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

GMA/FPA

International Dairy Foods Association

National Association of Wheat Growers

National Barley Growers Association

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

National Chicken Council

National Corn Growers Association

National Cotton Council

National Grain and Feed Association

National Grange

National Milk Producers Federation

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Pork Producers Council

National Potato Council

National Sorghum Producers

National Turkey Federation

North American Equipment Dealers Association

North American Export Grain Association

North American Millers’ Association

Northwest Horticultural Council

Pet Food Institute

Sweetener Users Association

U.S. Apple Association

U.S. Dairy Export Council

U.S. Livestock Genetics Export, Inc.

United Egg Association

United Egg Producers

US Hides, Skins and Leather Association

US Wheat Associates

USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council

USA Poultry & Egg Export Council

USA Rice Federation

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