America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)
Georgia Farmers Will Benefit
Exports of farm products help boost Georgia’s farm prices and
income. Such exports help support about 15,231 jobs
both on and off the farm in food processing, storage, and transportation. In
2003, Georgia's farm cash receipts were $5.2 billion, and agricultural exports
were estimated at $964 million, putting its reliance on agricultural exports at
18 percent. Implementation of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United
States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) will increase Georgia’s exports of agricultural
Georgia Benefits From the
U.S.- CAFTA-DR Free Trade Agreement
Despite over $1.6 billion in
U.S. farm exports in 2003, CAFTA-DR countries continue to impose high tariffs
and other barriers on most agricultural products, including Georgia’s key
exports. A primary U.S. objective was to change the "one-way-street" of
duty-free access currently enjoyed by most CAFTA-DR exports into a "two-way-street" that provides U.S. suppliers with
access to these markets and levels the playing field with other competitors.
This objective was achieved. Over 50 agricultural industry and farm groups,
including the American Farm Bureau support the FTA.
Poultry. Georgia, ranking first in
national sales and exports of poultry products, benefits from the FTA U.S.
poultry exporters currently face duties as high as 164 percent on both fresh and
frozen products, and the WTO permits duties as high as 250 percent.
Each CAFTA-DR country will provide immediate duty-free
access on chicken leg quarters, a product where the United States is the
world’s most competitive exporter, through TRQs that expand annually as duties
are eliminated in 17 to 20 years.
Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic will establish
duty-free TRQs for chicken leg quarters totaling 850 metric tons, each
expanding by 10 percent annually. The other four Central American countries
will establish a total regional duty-free TRQ of 21,810 metric tons (with
individual country minimum quota levels). After year 12, the TRQ quantity will
be no less than 5 percent of regional chicken production.
Duties on poultry products such as wings, breast meat and
mechanically de-boned poultry meat will be reduced more quickly, with many
eliminated within 10 years.
CAFTA-DR countries commit to adopting a "systems approach"
to the recognition of the U.S. poultry inspection system.
The National Chicken
Council, the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, and the National Turkey
Federation have expressed support publicly for the CAFTA-DR FTA.
Cotton. Providing the 2nd
largest source of farm cash receipts and the top state agricultural export,
Georgia’s cotton farmers benefit from zero tariffs that the FTA locks-in
immediately for markets worth over $73.1 million to U.S. cotton suppliers. Under
the WTO, CAFTA-DR countries could raise duties on cotton to 35 to 60 percent,
depending on the country.
Georgia, the nation’s
largest exporter of peanuts, benefits from the new openings the FTA provides in
markets already importing $1.2 million of U.S. peanuts and products.
Peanut tariffs will be eliminated immediately in El
Salvador, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic, with duties in other countries
eliminated in 5 to 15 years.
Peanut butter duties are eliminated immediately in Costa
Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Honduras. Nicaragua and Guatemala
will eliminate duties on this product over 10 years.
Except where current duty treatment under CBI grants
duty-free access, the U.S. duties on peanuts and peanut butter will be phased
out over a 15-year period. During the phase-out period, the United States will
establish TRQ access totaling 10,500 metric tons for two countries – El
Salvador and Nicaragua - growing by 5 percent per year, and a TRQ for
Nicaragua for peanut butter of 280 metric tons, growing at 10 percent per
Providing the 5th
largest source of farm cash receipts in the state, Georgia’s cattle and calve
operators benefit from the FTA.
State Fact Sheets