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Economic relationship PDF Print E-mail
The United States is Colombia’s leading trading partner. In 2005, 39% of Colombia’s exports went to the United States, and 29% of Colombia’s imports were supplied by the United States. The second most significant trading partner for Colombia is Venezuela, accounting for 7% of Colombia’s imports and 10% of Colombia’s exports. Other significant trading partners for Colombia are Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, and Brazil.
Colombia accounts for less than 1% of total U.S. trade. Colombia is the 28th largest U.S. export market ($5.41 billion in 2005) and the 31st largest source of U.S. imports ($8.85 billion in 2005). The dominant U.S. import item from Colombia is crude oil (38% of U.S. imports from Colombia in 2005), followed by coal, other petroleum oils, precious and semi-precious stones, coffee, tea, and flowers and plants.
Two-thirds of U.S. exports to Colombia are manufactured goods. The top U.S. exports are chemicals, plastics, electrical equipment, excavating machinery, telecommunications equipment, computers and computer accessories, industrial engines, and drilling and oilfield equipment. For the last seven years, Colombia has been receiving $10 billion to $15 billion annually in foreign direct investment, and has been rapidly developing its mining sector. As a result, Colombia is the sixth-largest market in the world for large earthmoving equipment manufactured by Caterpillar Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of bulldozers and other earthmoving machinery, despite a Colombian tariff of five to fifteen percent.
U.S. agricultural exports benefiting under the agreement include beef and pork products, wheat, corn, soybeans, and cotton. The agreement would grant immediate duty-free access to export categories most important to the U.S. beef industry, such as USDA Prime and Choice beef cuts. All other tariffs on beef would be eliminated, with the final tariffs removed within 15 years. Colombian tariffs on pork products ranging from 20 to 30 percent, would be phased out to zero within 5 to 15 years. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates the fully implemented agreement would boost U.S. beef exports to Colombia by 46 percent and pork exports by 72 percent. Colombian tariffs of 5 to 20 percent for wheat and soybeans would be immediately eliminated; with a 25 percent tariff on corn to be phased out over 12 years. agreement would immediately eliminate the 10 percent duty on U.S. cotton upon enactment.
U.S. imports from Colombia have increased notably since 1996, from $4.27 billion in 1996 to $8.85 billion in 2005, a 107% increase. The U.S. trade deficit with Colombia was $3.43 billion in 2005. Since late 2006, U.S. products have been charged more than $3.4 billion in Colombian tariffs and duties that otherwise would have been eliminated by the free trade agreement. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that the agreement would boost U.S. exports to Colombia by an additional $1.1 billion per year.