FACTBOX-Colombia’s winners, losers in U.S. free trade deal

Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:53am GMT
 Oct 12 (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved a long-delayed trade pact Colombia, along with deals with South Korea and Panama.

Here is an assessment of some possible winners and losers emerging from the U.S.-Colombia accord.

WINNERS

* Macroeconomy

The deal could add 0.5 to 1.0 percentage points to Colombian GDP growth and is expected to help Colombia triple exports to the United States over the next five or six years, from $17 billion a year currently to some $50 billion, Commerce Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said. Non-mineral exports will generate an additional 300,000 jobs over the same period, the minister said.

* Flowers and other plants

Colombia is the world’s second-largest exporter of cut flowers after the Netherlands and the largest supplier to the U.S. market. Seventy-six percent of the $1.24 billion in flowers Colombia shipped globally last year went to the United States. Colombia had preferential tariff access since the early 1990s under the Andean Trade Preferences Act but that legislation expired in February and Colombian flowers were slapped with duties ranging from 3.2 percent to 7 percent. With the free-trade agreement, those duties will be eliminated.

Textiles and clothing

The Andean nation last year boosted clothing and textile exports to the United States by 17.4 percent versus 2009. Since the expiration of the trade preferences act, Colombian products such as children’s clothes, jeans, underwear and sheets are paying duties averaging between 25 percent and 35 percent. Now they will be tariff-free, saving millions of dollars per year.  

Source: Reuters

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