United States-Central America-Dominican Republic
Free Trade Agreement
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on the Importance of CAFTA-DR - March 2005
"Free trade is necessary to the success of America's corn and soybean growers and to the entire American economy. Huge new markets are out there waiting to be tapped. CAFTA is an example of this."
"This sometimes gets lost in the debate, but CAFTA nations already have access to the U.S. market, already have access, and 99 percent of their products enter the United States duty-free under other agreements. But under CAFTA we are likely to double U.S. exports to these countries."
"Who's the winner here? . . . They are America's producers. Current import duties on U.S. corn are as high as 35 percent in CAFTA nations. And the WTO permits duties as high as 75 percent. Under CAFTA, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic will eliminate their duty on yellow corn immediately. The other countries will provide preferential access for imports totaling 1.1 million metric tons initially and growing every year. All currently applied duties on corn products will be phased out over 15 years.
"For soybeans, duties range from zero to 20 percent. And . . . under WTO--it permits duties as high as 90 percent. Under CAFTA these countries will provide immediate duty-free access for soybeans. Duties on soybean meal and flour will be eliminated immediately in most CAFTA-DR countries. Most CAFTA-DR countries will also eliminate duties on crude soybean oil and duties on refined soybean oil will be phased out over 12 to 15 years." Can there be any doubt that we need to pass CAFTA for the benefit of the [U.S.] producers?
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on the Importance of CAFTA-DR - April 2005
"CAFTA is good for America's farmers, it is good for America's ranchers, and it's good for the entire American economy -- and we are going to fight to get it approved."
"The consequences of letting this opportunity go by are serious, they are significant. Our credibility would be harmed, and it is our ability to negotiate other trade agreements that would not only benefit American agriculture, but it also includes significant impact relative to the Doha Round."
"Increased trade offers Central America more opportunity for economic growth, which in turn translates into political stability."
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Last modified: Sunday, March 17, 2013