Commodity Fact Sheet
What’s at Stake for Tree Nuts?
On Dec. 11, 2002, the United States concluded negotiations on a free trade agreement (FTA) with Chile, the first such arrangement with a South American country. The U.S. – Chile Free Trade Agreement entered into force on January 1, 2004. This agreement provides America’s farmers, ranchers, food processors, and the businesses they support with improved, and in many cases, new access to Chile’s market of 15 million consumers. This comprehensive agreement calls for duty-free access on all products and addresses other trade measures for both countries.
U.S. Tree Nuts Gain Improved Access to Chile’s Market
Before the agreement … U.S. tree nuts faced 6-percent import tariffs. There were no known non-tariff barriers. Without preferential access, U.S. tree nuts were at a disadvantage to products from MERCOSUR that have preferential import tariffs. The U.S. exports of tree nut (HTS Code 0802 which includes almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts) averaged $2.3 million from 2001-2003. The U.S. share of Chile’s $2.6 million import market was 88 percent from 2001-2003. Competitors include Iran and Brazil.
With the agreement … All U.S. tree nuts gained preferential access when Chile’s import tariff was immediately eliminated. The very high U.S. share of the import market provided an excellent base for a continued strong presence in the market.
Chilean Tree Nuts Secure Improved Access to U.S. Buyers
Before the agreement … Chilean tree nuts faced U.S. import tariffs ranging from 0.1 percent to 7.9 percent.
With the agreement … Chilean tree nuts gained preferential access to the U.S. market on different timeframes. Tariffs on almonds, hazelnuts, and shelled walnuts were phased out in 4 years.Tariffs on in-shell walnuts, pistachios, and pecans were immediately eliminated.
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