(qCOSTARICA) From January 2016 import tariffs will start to be phased out on chicken, rice and milk from the U.S., reaching 0% in 2022 and 2025, under the DR-CAFTA agreement.
In Costa Rica local producers say they have been preparing for this for several years, but the country’s loss of competitiveness due to high production costs and lack of action by the government to improve on this might prevent them from competing on equal terms.
Rice, chicken and milk (fluid milk, milk powder, butter and cheese), which have up until now always been excluded in all trade agreements signed by the country, will start to come in from the US paying less tariffs in January 2016, reaching 0% tax in 2022 and 2026.
“… The opening of the national market for those productive sectors traditionally protected from trade liberalization is a threat, recognized representatives. José Antonio Madriz, President of the National Chamber of Milk Producers, said the industry is very concerned about the opening of the US dairy market. ”
An article in Nacion.com reports that “… Alberto Trejos, who was the Minister of Foreign Trade, when negotiating this FTA, lamented that they did not take advantage of the 10-year grace period to make preparations. However, he emphasized, they still have seven or 10 years of tax relief in which to do so and they should use them. He also said that if imports are very high, the Treaty provides for the automatic activation of an increased tariff (safeguard). ”