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Impacts of the US-Colombia FTA in the farm sector

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Biodiversidad en América Latina | 11 May 2015

(translated by bilaterals.org.)

Impacts of the US-Colombia FTA in the farm sector

by Aurelio Suárez Montoya

This report looking at specific cases that reflect the farming reality of the country allows us to verify what happened with the promises around the FTA and open a broad debate about it. This is a step forward in the monitoring process, but we cannot separate the impact of this FTA from that of others that have been signed and are in force.

The agrarian uprisings of 2013 and 2014 rang a warning bell about the very serious crisis, marked by both conjunctural and structural factors, that the Colombian farm sector is going through. Almost half a million farmers vehemently protested, through four major strikes in the course of the two years, about their economic situation of bankruptcy and loss.

This report identifies factors that are common to all sectors: income loss due to a fall in prices, in some branches in anticipation of expected cheaper imports; a rise in input costs; and the trap of unpayable loans. It’s worth pointing out that the impact of the FTA on various tropical and seasonal goods comes on top of structural problems that the farm sector has been suffering since decades. The FTA brought things to a flash point.

This report, looking at specific cases that reflect the farming reality of the country, allows us to verify how the forecast results of the FTA really played out and open a broad debate about it. This is a step forward in the monitoring process, but we cannot separate the impact of this FTA from that of others that have been signed and are in force, as we see in the dairy sector, which is being impacted by six FTAs, or with beans, which are affected as much by the US FTA as by that with Canada.

To access the document (PDF), click on the link below and download the report [Spanish only]:

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 source: Biodiversidad en América Latina