U.S.-Colombia FTA


  • Entered into force: May 15, 2012 (announced April 13)
  • Senate vote to implement agreement: 66-33 (Oct.12, 2011)
  • House vote to implement agreement: 262-167 (Oct. 12, 2011)
  • Agreement signed by governments: Nov. 22, 2006
  • Congressional notification: Aug. 24, 2006
  • Negotiations concluded: Feb. 27, 2006
  • Negotiations began: Nov. 18, 2003
  • Production (Avg. 2005-2007): 2,487,667 metric tons
  • Consumption (Avg. 2005-2007): 1,528,333 metric tons
  • Imports (Avg. 2005-2007): 25,000 metric tons
  • Exports: (Avg. 2005-2007): 993,667 metric tons

Colombia is one of the world’s largest exporters of sugar; over the past five years (2001/02-2005/06), exports averaged 1.14 million metric tons (mmt).

Historical Access

Colombia has a minimum WTO tariff rate quota of 25,273 mt, or 2.26% of the total TRQ for 41 countries. In the 2005/06 year, reflecting the short U.S. crop, Colombia was allocated a TRQ of 43,121 mt– a 71 percent increase.

Additional Access Granted to U.S. Market

The proposed trade agreement (2006) allows Colombia to export an additional 50,000 metric tons of sugar in the first year of the agreement, rising to 60,500 tons in year 15. The first-year increase is two times the duty-free sugar market access Colombia already enjoys (25,273 MT).

Thereafter, access increases each year by 750 mt in perpetuity. Tier-two, or “out-of-quota,” tariffs on Colombian sugar also remain in place in perpetuity, at 15.36 cents/lb. for raw and 16.21 cents/pound for refined sugar. The agreement also allows for refined sugar imports.

Colombia can benefit from this additional access only to the extent that it is calculated to be a net exporter of sugar, which is not expected to be a problem. A similar provision will prevent the U.S. from exporting any sugar to Colombia at preferential tariff rates.

Colombia, which benefits from numerous trade-distorting policies, was not asked to reform its sugar subsidies in the trade negotiations. Domestic policy negotiations and reforms are reserved for the multilateral trade talks at the World Trade Organization.

Over the last 20 years, Colombian sugar production has more than doubled, growing from 1.2 million metric tons to 2.6 million tons of sugar a year. Wholesale sugar prices in Colombia were 17 cents per pound in 2005.

Tariff Schedule and TRQ