Manufacturing in the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement
Manufactured goods account for almost 90 percent of U.S. exports to Colombia – totaling $10.7 billion in 2010. Between 2008 and 2010 the top five U.S. industrial goods export sectors to Colombia were chemicals, mineral and mineral fuels, machinery, aerospace, and information technology products.
The U.S.-Colombia TPA creates new opportunities for U.S. manufacturers seeking to export to Colombia, giving American manufacturers more market access in two ways: (1) by eliminating tariffs, or duties, charged when U.S. exports enter Colombia, and (2) by laying out a framework to address other barriers to U.S. exports – including those that may arise in the future.
U.S. exports of manufactured goods to Colombia face an average tariff rate of over 9 percent. In key sectors the average rate can be even higher: auto and auto parts (17.4 percent); building products (13.2 percent); and consumer goods (15 percent). The Agreement’s elimination of high Colombian tariffs opens new opportunities for U.S. exports.
Over 80 percent of U.S. industrial and consumer goods (not including petroleum) will gain duty-free access to the Colombian market immediately upon implementation. Most products in key U.S. export sectors, such as agriculture and construction equipment, aircraft and parts, auto parts, fertilizers and agro-chemicals, information technology equipment, and medical and scientific equipment will gain immediate duty-free access to Colombia.
Colombia has agreed to allow trade in remanufactured goods under the Agreement. This will provide significant export and investment opportunities for U.S. firms involved in remanufactured products such as machinery, computers, cellular telephones, and other devices.
Beyond tariffs, the Agreement establishes new transparency rules on the development of technical requirements on products. Under the Agreement, American manufacturers and others will have greater input into the process, and to participate on equal terms with Colombian companies in the development of Colombian standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures. This will be important for all U.S. exporters, but this new level of transparency will especially benefit small and medium-sized enterprises that typically lack resources to access information on technical requirements.
The Agreement’s intellectual property rights provisions contain state-of-the-art protections for intellectual property, with protections for patents, trademarks, and copyrights – critically important for U.S. industry’s knowledge-based manufactured goods such as semiconductors and other information technology products, aerospace equipment, and medical devices, to name just a few.