Baucus Touts Trade Jobs as Colombia Agreement Enters into Force
Senator Says Today is a Victory for American Jobs
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
(Washington, D.C.) - Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus celebrated a victory for jobs today as the Colombia Free Trade Agreement officially entered into force. Baucus led efforts to pass the agreement through the Senate last year and led 15 Montanans on a trade mission to Colombia last February.
"Before today, Colombian tariffs made it difficult for Montana beef, wheat and barley to compete in what is the third-largest economy in Central and South America. Today, Colombian duties on high-quality Montana beef, wheat and barley are eliminated. That's a victory for American jobs," Baucus said.
"Before today, Colombian businesses could sell the vast majority of their products in the United States without paying import duties under U.S. trade preference programs. But American companies were paying tariffs as high as 20 percent or more. Today, we level the playing field by eliminating duties on 80 percent of American exports to Colombia right away, and starting on a path to eliminate the other 20 percent over time. That's a victory for American jobs.
"Today is the culmination of a lot of hard work. I want to thank the 15 Montanans who traveled with me to Colombia a year ago, to explore ways that the Colombia free trade agreement would help their businesses. I can't wait to see all the ways they, and businesses like them all across the country, turn today's victory into good-paying American jobs."
What the Colombia FTA means for Montana
The Colombia FTA will provide particular benefits to Montana farmers and ranchers by immediately eliminating Colombia's duties on high-quality Montana beef, wheat and barley. Colombian tariffs currently render Montana malt barley non-competitive and make Montana wheat less competitive than wheat from other countries that have trade agreements with Colombia.
The Colombia FTA would also benefit Montana manufacturing firms by immediately eliminating duties on 80 percent of exports to Colombia, with the remainder eliminated over time. Colombian businesses can already sell the vast majority of their products in the United States without paying import duties under U.S. trade preference programs. The U.S.-Colombia FTA would level the playing field and give Montana businesses the same duty-free access to sell their goods in Colombia - including Montana businesses that participated in Baucus' trade mission in February. A complete overview of the agreement from the U.S. Trade Representative is available HERE.
Timeline of Baucus' Work
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