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NMPF Works to Prevent Barriers in Colombia

August 2, 2021

NMPF and USDEC in July steadily worked to prevent potential trade barriers in trade with Colombia, working with governments in both countries to keep commerce open.

The Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism formally announced on June 21 the launch of an investigation into imports of U.S. milk powder to determine whether U.S. product has negatively impacted Colombia’s local industry.

Sparked by a vocal domestic industry, the Colombian government’s investigation appears to be a politically driven attempt to impose additional tariffs under a safeguard mechanism. NMPF and USDEC’s trade policy team, working with USDEC regulatory staff, met with USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service in early July to urge the U.S. government to engage the Colombian government in opposition to any potential safeguard. NMPF and USDEC have also reached out to seek the support of Colombian buyers in opposition to any safeguard.

While safeguards are allowed to be imposed under the U.S.-Colombia bilateral trade agreement if a domestic industry is “injured” from increased imports, the Colombian government must follow specific procedures in doing so. NMPF and USDEC, along with several USDEC members, submitted official comments and relevant data to the Colombian government on July 12. The next step is to await the findings and ruling on the investigation.