While the Pacific Alliance’s neighbors, especially Chile and Peru, are courting China to unite the Asian giant as a trading partner par excellence, Colombia is following in Mexico’s footsteps and has made its proximity to the United States a cornerstone of its foreign country. trade strategy. Just a decade after the signing of the FTA, binational companies doubled and national exports to the engine of the world economy grew by more than 53%, a figure that was unimaginable at the time.
In fact, the United States benefited from the FTA more than Colombia if it is noted that only last year about 11,000 million US dollars were sold there, an increase of 25% compared to the difficult year of the epidemic, but purchases at the same time were 14,000 million US dollars, It is a deficit of just over $3000 million, which, if the FTA goes to a second stage, could be resolved in Colombia’s favour, especially when exports of non-traditional products and services grow at an annual rate of 25%. The FTA could be improved and some nuts should be tweaked so that Colombia can advance in more union states, but for that it is not necessary to sit down to renegotiate anything, but to design more ambitious and long-term strategies. Only selling oil, coffee and flowers to the United States cannot keep the FTA and make it work, local consumers should benefit more from the North’s production, a highly controversial link, as national unions should not impede expiring tariff cuts. On December 31st, this will offer new advantages to domestic buyers of better quality and cheaper products and services than those produced locally. But on the other hand, there are sectors which within a decade have developed superior competition such as poultry and livestock, which are already in a position to start selling with a certain degree of success.
An important step to take is sanitary permits, which are still a major obstacle to the sale of products of animal origin. Colombian entrepreneurs should learn about future opportunities; According to Amcham, “With the trade agreement and taking into account the international context of the container crisis, the recovery after the pandemic and the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, it shows that exports can be increased in the agribusiness sector, continued growth in coffee, flowers and fruits, but also in intermediate goods that will be integrated in value chains, such as plastics, rubber, machinery, pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and perfumes; auto parts, clothing, paper, and agribusiness.” This year alone and as agreed in the negotiations, 997 products were left without tariffs, namely agricultural commodities such as corn flour, cassava starch, liver preparations, canned food, rum, brandy and 973 non-agricultural commodities, from sectors such as plastics, glass and articles thereof. Aluminium; electrical machines; cement; miscellaneous artifacts; artifacts; antique collection; Wooden furniture. But the big leap that a free trade agreement with the United States can take during its second decade is to get more global companies to settle on the Colombian coast and export to the great northern nation as if it were local; This, without a doubt, will be the expected step and the one that will benefit Colombians the most.
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