AFFI applauds US-Colombia trade pact progress

April 11, 2011
Kraig R Naasz, American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) president and chief executive officer, issued a statement applauding a recently completed package of judicial and labor reforms that will help accelerate final implementation of an already-negotiated free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia.

Kraig R Naasz, American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) president and chief executive officer, issued this statement applauding a recently completed package of judicial and labor reforms that will help accelerate final implementation of an already-negotiated free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia:

“AFFI has long pressed for final approval of the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which allows nearly 80% of all US agricultural exports to enter Colombia duty-free immediately upon implementation. The agreement’s significant frozen food benefits will help our industry create new jobs and foster new economic opportunities through dramatically improved access to a fast-growing market.

“The road is now clear for fast action on this accord, and we urge the White House to send the deal to Congress for a vote as soon as possible and look forward to rapid congressional approval.

“At the same time, we also hope for similarly swift approval of pending free trade agreements with South Korea and Panama and a long-term extension of the Andean Trade Preferences and Drug Eradication Act. Further delay in approving these agreements means more lost jobs and more lost ground to foreign economic competitors pursuing their own deals in these critically important markets.”

Benefits of the US-Colombia FTA to the frozen food industry include the immediate elimination of these tariffs:

•20% tariff on frozen French fries

•15% tariff on frozen strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries

•15% tariff on frozen sweet corn

•15% tariff on frozen mixed vegetables

For more information, visit www.affi.org.

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