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American Jobs, Manufacturing and Agricultural Exports on the Rise as U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement Marks Two Years

May 15, 2014

American Jobs, Manufacturing and Agricultural Exports on the Rise as U.S.-Colombia Trade Agreement Marks Two Years Goods Exports to Colombia up 30 percent compared to 2011

Washington, D.C. – Two years into the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, U.S. manufacturers have helped grow American jobs and substantially increased exports of transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, processed food, and computer and electronic products, while farmers and ranchers have seen strong growth of agricultural exports, including in pork, beef, dairy products, soybeans, rice, grapes, and tree nuts.

“As we mark a second year of expanded trade between the United States and Colombia, American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses are continuing to see important benefits from this agreement. These exports have supported the growth of American jobs.” Ambassador Froman said. “We will continue to work closely with the Colombian government to unlock new opportunities for increased exports from the United States. At the same time, we will build on the progress made to date by Colombia to improve respect for labor rights and press for further steps to ensure the full implementation of the Labor Action Plan."

In 2013, U.S. goods exports to Colombia totaled $18.6 billion, up 30 percent compared with 2011, the last year prior to entry into force of the trade agreement. At the same time, goods imports were down 6.5 percent and the goods deficit declined by 65.8 percent.

In terms of agricultural exports, Colombia is the third largest purchaser of U.S. agricultural products in South America. In 2013, U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia increased over 34 percent compared to 2011, to $1.51 billion.

U.S. manufacturing exports to Colombia were up 32% compared to 2011, to $4.3 billion. Exports of petroleum and coal products were up 101%, to $2.8 billion, computer and electronic products were up 31% to $0.6 billion, transportation equipment exports were up by 46% to $0.4 billion, and processed food up 93%, to $0.4 billion.

Every one billion in increased exports is estimated to support an additional 5400-5900 American jobs -- jobs that pay 13-18% more than non-export related jobs.

The United States and Colombia signed the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement on November 22, 2006. On April 7, 2011, the two countries announced a Labor Action Plan that included concrete steps for the Colombian government to take in order to address a number of serious labor concerns. Since then, the Colombian government has made meaningful progress under the plan, but much important work remains and the two countries are working closely together to build on the progress achieved so far. The U.S. Congress approved the U.S.-Colombia pact on October 12, 2011, and the agreement entered into force on May 15, 2012.

Over 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products and more than half of U.S. agricultural exports to Colombia are already duty free under the agreement, with remaining tariffs phased out over defined time periods.

For more information, please see the fact sheet: The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement Second Anniversary