National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander said the official implementation provides cattlemen the opportunity to access a market that has essentially been closed as a result of the 80 percent tariff."NCBA worked with members of Congress and beyond to implement trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea that were pending from the previous administration. It was a long, drawn out process but what really matters is that implementation of these agreements is happening relatively quickly," said Alexander.
"The agreement with Colombia provides new opportunities for cattlemen and women to put wholesome U.S. beef in the hands of Colombian consumers.
"The enormous tariff prevented much access in this market and we are thrilled this duty free access will give us a chance to truly introduce U.S. beef into the Colombian marketplace."
In addition to providing U.S. beef with an important foothold in the South American market, Alexander said CTPA provides assurance for a stable export market through plant inspection equivalency and also assures that Colombia adheres to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
Of the three free trade agreements that were passed by Congress October 12, 2011, and signed into law by President Barack Obama October 21, 2011, the pact with Panama is the only one not yet implemented.
The agreement with South Korea was officially implemented on March 15 of this year, exactly two months prior to the implementation of CTPA. Alexander expects news from Panama in the coming months.
—From Beltway Beef Newsletter