FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS DO WORK!
After the Colombia Free Trade Agreement came into effect in 2012, exports to the country have continuously increased, with Colombia ranking the third largest customer for U.S. corn for the second straight year, behind only Mexico and Japan.
U.S. exports of feed grains in all forms to Colombia reached a record high during the 2015/2016 marketing year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and analysis from the U.S. Grains Council (USGC) - a milestone on which the Council is seeking to further capitalize with outreach to buyers who want to take advantage of the favorable trade agreement between their country and the United States.
Total feed grains in all forms exports to the country reached a record high of 5.2 million metric tons in corn equivalent, up 6 percent from the previous marketing year, fueled by new export records in U.S. corn, sorghum and distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS). The feed grains in all forms calculation also takes into account barley, meats and ethanol.
The free trade agreement (FTA) between Colombia and the United States was signed in 2006 but not put into effect for six more years. During that delay, U.S. grain exports decreased due to more favorable duties on products from regional sellers.
Once in place, however, the FTA and market development efforts by the Council and its members have fueled dramatic growth in this market.
The United States exported more than 4.55 million metric tons (179 million bushels) of corn to Colombia during the 2015/2016 marketing year, claiming a 99.7 percent market share.
U.S. exports of DDGS to Colombia totaled more than 163,000 metric tons. The previous record of more than 129,000 metric tons was set in the 2013/2014 marketing year.