Judy Genshaft

University of South Florida

“The Tampa Bay Trade & Protocol Council is an integral part of our region’s international trade strategy"

President Ronald L. Vaughn

The University of Tampa

"The Tampa Bay Trade & Protocol Council has a lead role in helping to rebuild these relationships for our community.”

Bob Rohrlack

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce commends the Mayor and County on their vision to strengthen Protocol with an international trade component.

U.S. – Colombia Free Trade Agreement

The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) was signed on November 22, 2006 (3). This Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the United States and Colombia entered into force on May 15, 2012 (1). On the day of implementation, over 80 percent of U.S. industrial goods exports to Colombia became duty-free including agricultural and construction equipment, building products, aircraft and parts, fertilizers, information technology equipment, medical and scientific equipment, and wood (1).

U.S. - Colombia FTA is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement whose main goals are:
  • eliminates tariffs and other barriers to goods and services (4)
  • promotes economic growth for both (4)
  • support more jobs (5)
  • increase trade between the two countries (5)
  • enhance both countries’ competitiveness (5)
  • facilitate cross-border movements of goods and services
  • promote private investment in and between both nations (1)

  • U.S. merchandise exports to Colombia totaled $14.3 billion in 2011, up 18% from 2010 (2).
  • Florida's export shipments of merchandise all over the world, in 2012, totaled $66.2 billion. A total of 60,147 companies exported from Florida locations in 2011 (11).
  • In 2012, Florida was the 2nd largest state of U.S. exporters of merchandise to Colombia.
  • In 2012, Colombia was Florida’s 5th largest export market. Florida products export to Colombia amounted to $3.1 billion (10).
  • Florida’s top exports to Colombia are: electrical machinery, civilian aircraft, engines, medical instruments, organic chemicals, plastic and mineral (2).
  • Foreign exports from Tampa Port Authority to Colombia in 2010 totaled $125,218,335 (13).

  • In 2012, imports from Colombia amounted to $24.6 billion, a 7 percent increase relative to 2011, making Colombia the United States’ 20th largest source of imports worldwide (12).
  • 57 percent of total Colombian exports to the United States benefited from the FTA.
  • The United States is main destination for Colombian exports (14).
  • Colombia is Florida's 4th leading import markets (10).
  • Florida’s top imports from Colombia include: gold, cut flowers, oil, coal, and coffee (18).
  • Foreign imports from Colombia to Tampa Port Authority States in 2010 totaled $17,261,550 (13).

  • The several committees and working groups established to handle the free trade agreements to protect the interests of the countries involved can be quite expensive (7).
  • The removal of international trade barriers can open up some domestic industries to unsustainable competition. Colombian markets are not on the same level as the Florida industry and is able to produce a certain commodity way below cost. Many Florida industries may be unable to compete under these conditions (7).
  • Miami and Port Everglades (in Fort Lauderdale) have the established ocean services, so they would reap the vast majority of increased trade with Colombia and get the immediate benefit, but Tampa may not see a big change because none ocean services sails directly to Colombia (8).
  • Florida companies outsourcing to Colombia for cheaper business causes the dismissal of American workers (3).
  • Colombia is widely referred to as the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist. The Labor Rights in Colombia are not respected (3).

  • The implementation of this agreement will help the United States regain a competitive advantage in Colombia, where U.S. agriculture’s market share has fallen in recent years as Colombia has implemented free trade agreements with Canada, the European Union, and other partners (6).
  • The Agreement establishes a stable legal framework for U.S. investors operating in Colombia.
  • The TPA guarantees the protection of U.S. copyrights, trademarks, and patents registered in Colombia (16).
  • Stronger protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in Colombia (1).
  • The FTA with Colombia is an opportunity for businesses, farmers and workers to invest in and do business with Colombia. More income opportunities for businesses, in theory, should equate to job growth and improved economies for both countries (3).
  • Florida’s agricultural exports to all countries, estimated at $1.5 billion in 2010, supported roughly 12,600 jobs, on and off the farm. These export sales make an important contribution to the Florida farm economy, which had total cash receipts of $7.8 billion in 2010. The Colombia TPA eliminates tariffs and other barriers on most agricultural products, increasing export opportunities for a range of Florida’s agricultural products, including fruits, vegetables, and beef (9).
  • In the agreement is included a number of regulations which would open up both governments to greater transparency and address the critical issues of environmental protection, workers' rights and corruption (16).
  • The U.S.-Colombia FTA would create new opportunities for Florida businesses, workers, farmers and ranchers thereby create new jobs for Floridians (8).

  • Colombia’s economy is the third largest in Central and South America (4).
  • Colombia’s economy is forecasted to grow at 4.1 percent in 2013 according to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (12).
  • A free-trade deal with Colombia could boost U.S. exports by $1.1 billion. Florida is among the states most likely to get a boost from free trade agreements with Colombia (5).
  • The Agreement will provide significant new access to Colombia’s $166 billion services market, supporting increased opportunities for Florida service providers (4).
  • Their economies are quite complementary in terms of products exchanged.
  • Grymes Cannon imports Colombian flowers in South Tampa due to the U.S.-Colombia FTA he will pays 4 cents less to the cost of each stem (8).
  • The Free Trade Agreement extends the Andean Trade Preference Act, which helps countries fighting against illegal drug production and trafficking by expanding their economic alternatives (16).
  • Missions will be established to connect participating Hillsborough County companies with Barranquilla, Colombia trade partners through one-on-one business match-making (15).
  • Tampa is the best gateway to the emerging markets in the Southeast and Latin America, and the partnership with Colombia can become an important economic driver for our region (15).

U.S. Export Growth
Since the U.S. – Colombia TPA took effect, U.S. goods exports to Colombia have increased 19 percent compared to the same period (i.e., June 2012 - March 2013) the previous year (12).

View the United States – Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement final text

  1. http://export.gov/FTA/colombia/index.asp
  2. http://trade.gov/fta/colombia/
  3. http://www.ehow.com/list_6113059_disadvantages-trade-agreements.html
  4. http://www.ustr.gov/uscolombiatpa/facts
  5. http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_17/b4225032089913.htm
  6. http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/factsheets/Colombia/Colombia%20TPA%20Fact%20Sheet%2005-15-12.pdf
  7. http://www.ehow.com/list_6310891_benefits-disadvantages-u_s__colombian-trade-agreement.html
  8. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/free-trade-agreements-hold-promise-for-florida/1198026
  9. http://www.fas.usda.gov/info/factsheets/Colombia/Florida_CTPA_09-11.pdf
  10. http://www.eflorida.com/IntelligenceCenter/download/INT/TR_Florida_International_Business_Highlights_2012.pdf
  11. http://www.trade.gov/press/press-releases/2013/colombia-factsheet-051513.pdf
  12. http://www.trade.gov/press/press-releases/2013/colombia-factsheet-051513.pdf
  13. http://locationswww.myfbireport.com/trade/imports/value/USA_FL_Tampa_Port_Authority_96.php
  14. http://www.cncworld.tv/news/v_show/24435_US-Colombia_TPA_takes_effect.shtml
  15. http://www.tampaedc.com/userfiles/files/International/Trade%20Missions/Barranquilla%20Mission%20Flyer%20FINAL.pdf
  16. http://www.trade.gov/fta/colombia/index.asp
  17. http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/statereports/states/fl.pdf
  18. http://www.eflorida.com/IntelligenceCenter/download/ITBD/TP/Colombia.pdf

DR-CAFTA (Dominican Republic-Central America FTA)

On August 5, 2004, the United States signed the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) with five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) and the Dominican Republic. The CAFTA-DR is the first free trade agreement between the United States and a group of smaller developing economies. This agreement is creating new economic opportunities by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, reducing barriers to services, and promoting transparency. It is facilitating trade and investment among the seven countries and furthering regional integration.
Reported U.S. foreign direct investment (FDI) in CAFTA/DR countries (stock) was $8.5 billion in 2008, up 39.4% from 2007.

Member Countries:
Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, United States.

  • In 2011, Tampa benefited from existing trade agreements, exporting $229 million to the CAFTA-DR region. Source
  • Strong Protections for U.S. Investors: The agreement establishes a secure, predictable legal framework for U.S. investors in Central America and the Dominican Republic, and contains a commitment to develop an appellate mechanism for investor-state disputes. Source
  • Economic Impact on Tampa Metro Area and Western Florida:In order to help provide some insights into the impact of the DR-CAFTA agreement on the Tampa metropolitan area and West Central Florida, we took a look at the current amount of trade through the Port of Tampa to the DR-CAFTA countries. The Tampa Port Authority is the largest economic engine in West Central Florida, impacting 108,000 jobs in a seven county area and generating an annual $13 billion economic impact on the region. In 2003, total trade with the DR-CAFTA countries reached 461,000 tons (of that figure or 372,000 are exports). Source
  • Exports to CAFTA countries rose from $207,210,657 in 2010 to $229,282,641 in 2011. Source

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement)

In 1994, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a state-of-the-art market-opening agreement, came into force. Since then, NAFTA has systematically eliminated most tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. NAFTA has helped create the environment of confidence and stability required for long-term investment.  It has contributed to significant increases in trade and investment flows between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. It has also benefited companies in all three countries, paving the way for increased sales, new partnerships, and new opportunities. Since NAFTA came into effect, the overall job growth has been strong in all three partner countries. Across North America, total employment has grown by almost 40 million jobs since 1993. On January 1, 2008, the last remaining tariffs were removed within North America.

Member Countries:
Canada, Mexico, United States

  • Florida: The United States already exports more than $25 billion worth of products to Central America and the Dominican Republic. A fifth of that originates in Florida. This trade is responsible for 35,000 manufacturing jobs and 30,000 services jobs in Florida. Source
  • Tampa: The ability to support global business operations and a substantial Latin community provide interesting NAFTA possibilities. In 2011, Tampa benefited from existing trade agreements, exporting $3.4 billion to the NAFTA region. Source
  • 44.4 percent of Tampa’s merchandise exports go to NAFTA countries. Source
  • Exports to NAFTA countries rose from $3,148,886,836 in 2010 to $3,435,771,591 in 2011. Source

U.S. – Panama Free Trade Agreement 

On June 28, 2007 the U.S. Government and the Government of Panama signed a Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) also called U.S. – Panama Free Trade Agreement (FTA) (1). This agreement went into effect on October 31, 2012 (5). Due to the U.S. – Panama FTA, information technology equipment, agricultural and construction equipment, aircraft and parts, medical and scientific equipment, environmental products, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, agro-chemicals, and other products became duty-free access to Panama’s market (3).

U.S.-Panama FTA is a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement whose main goals are:
  • eliminate tariffs and other barriers to U.S. exports (1)
  • reduce the cost of U.S. goods and services in foreign markets
  • facilitate cross-border movements of goods and services (4)
  • encourage expansion and diversification of trade between the Parties (4)
  • promote conditions of fair competition in the free trade area (4)
  • promote private investment in and between both nations (4)
  • promote economic growth (2)

  • In 2010, the United States exported over $450 million of agricultural products to Panama (21).
  • The United States is the largest supplier to the Panamanian market, with U.S. imports comprising 24 percent of Panama’s imports of goods in 2012 (7).
  • Estimated duties paid on exports of U.S. textile and apparel products to Panama were $8.4 million from 2008 to 2010. 99% of U.S. textile and apparel exports that meet the rule of origin will qualify for immediate duty free market access upon implementation of the U.S.-Panama TPA (8).
  • In 2012, Florida companies exported more than $66.4 billion worth of goods, making it the sixth-largest export state in the country. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater exported $7.2 billion (13).
  • Florida was the top state exporters to Panama in 2009. Florida recorded merchandise exports of $960 million to Panama (14).
  • Florida’s top exports to Panama include electric apparatus, automatic data process machines, perfumes, ethyl alcohol, motor cars, and vehicles (15).
  • Foreign exports from Tampa Port Authority to Panama in 2010 totaled $19,548,016 (16).

  • In 2012, U.S. merchandise imports from Panama amounted to $542 million (7).
  • Florida’s top imports to Panama include gold, fish, metals, bananas and plantains (15).
  • Foreign imports from Panama to Tampa Port Authority in 2009 totaled $106,998 (16).

  • A flood of cheaper products imported into the United States could lead to layoffs of American workers (10).
  • Florida industries may be unable to compete with Panama market. Panama market is not at the same level as U.S. industry and is able to produce a certain commodity way below cost. Thereby goods such as clothing is produced at a much lower cost and therefore, able to be sold at a much lower price than clothing made in the U.S.
  • Miami and Port Everglades (in Fort Lauderdale) have the established ocean services, so they would reap the vast majority of increased trade with Panama and get the immediate benefit; but Tampa may not see a big change because only two vessels connect Tampa and Panama, one weekly and another monthly (10).

  • This agreement creates new opportunities for U.S. textiles and apparel manufacturers, farmers, ranchers, workers, and food processors seeking to export to Panama, one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America. Panama does not threaten U.S. textile or agricultural industries, since its economy is largely service-based; agriculture accounts for only a small share of Panama's GDP (6; 8).
  • U.S. firms will have better access to Panama's services sector.
  • Panama’s strategic location as a major shipping route also enhances the importance of the Agreement. Approximately two-thirds of the Panama Canal’s annual transits are bound to or from U.S. ports (11).
  • Florida is among the states most likely to get a boost from free trade agreement with Panama (10).
  • The U.S.-Panama FTA would create new jobs in Florida immediately and in the five next years (6).
  • The Agreement ensures that the U.S. companies in Panama are protected from discriminatory or unlawful, and provides a neutral and transparent mechanism for resolving investment disputes.
  • The Agreement ensures strong protections for workers (17).

  • Panama remains one of the fastest growing Latin American countries (20).
  • Two Central Florida based firms have partnered to create PanEx Partners, LLC, to assist other Florida / US firms to export construction and industrial products into Panama and take advantage of the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the continuing Panama Canal work (12).
  • Florida representatives are equipping Florida with the infrastructure necessary to handle the increase of trade that will come through the canal (9).
  • The Panama Canal expansion expected to be completed by 2014 or 2015 (19).
  • Port Of Tampa Expands, Prepares For More Panama Canal Traffic (11).

U.S. Export Growth
Since the U.S. – Panama TPA took effect in October 2012, U.S. exports to Panama have increased by $770 million (up 20 percent) from November 2012– March 2013, compared to the same period the previous year (18).

U.S. Import Growth
Since the U.S. – Panama TPA took effect, U.S. goods imports from Panama increased by $50 million (up 34 percent) from November 2012– March 2013, compared to the same period the previous year (18).

View the United States – Panama Trade Promotion Agreement final text 

  1. http://www.ustr.gov/trade-agreements/free-trade-agreements/panama-tpa
  2. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2030.htm
  3. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/panama_trade_agreement_benefits.pdf
  4. http://www.ustr.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/agreements/fta/panama/asset_upload_file875_10349.pdf
  5. http://export.gov/panama/u.s.-panamafreetradeagreement/
  6. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-us-panama-free-trade-agreement-a-good-deal-for-america
  7. http://trade.gov/press/press-releases/2013/panama-factsheet-051713.pdf
  8. http://www.ustr.gov/uspanamatpa/facts
  9. http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/scott-talks-free-trade-during-visit-to-panama/1158036
  10. http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/free-trade-agreements-hold-promise-for-florida/1198026
  11. http://partnership.tampabay.org/press.asp?rls_id=2881&cat_id=17&
  12. http://www.panexpartners.com/News-or-Reviews.html
  13. http://www.floridaexportdirectory.com/
  14. http://trade.gov/mas/ian/tradeagreements/fta/tg_ian_002432.asp
  15. http://www.eflorida.com/IntelligenceCenter/download/ITBD/TP/Panama.pdf
  16. http://locationswww.myfbireport.com/trade/imports/value/USA_FL_Tampa_Port_Authority_96.php
  17. http://www.ustr.gov/uscolombiatpa/labor
  18. http://trade.gov/press/press-releases/2013/panama-factsheet-051713.pdf
  19. http://tbo.com/news/business/panama-canal-expansion-may-ripple-through-tampas-port-349805
  20. http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian/tradeagreements/fta/tg_ian_002432.asp
  21. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/panama_trade_agreement_agriculture.pdf

FTAA (Free Trade Agreement of the Americas)

The FTAA process began in December 1994, when President Clinton and 33 other heads of state made a commitment at the Miami Summit of the Americas to liberalize trade and financial markets in the region. The goal of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) is the progressive elimination of trade and investment barriers within the Western Hemisphere. The FTAA is a regional agreement now under negotiation among 34 countries, including the United States. The FTAA principles of open markets, hemispheric integration, and sustainable development should reinforce the greater market orientation of economic policy in the region.

Member Countries:
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Exports to NAFTA countries rose from $2,612,614,379 in 2006 to $3,575,709,167 in 2007. Source