Figuring out the right places to export your goods and services can feel daunting and complex. It’s a convoluted global marketplace out there—full of multifaceted legal restrictions and thorny political concerns—to level the playing fields, the U.S. government created the Free Trade Agreements. And, recently, leaders in the Senate from both parties declared that a top priority will be ratifying free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. This, if you’re a company looking to grow, is a big deal.
But what may be an even bigger deal is the FTA Tariff Tool.
Previously, exporters had to read through numerous pages of an agreement to figure out what tariff they would have to pay when shipping to an FTA partner country. For example, if you look at the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, the tariff schedules alone go on for nearly a thousand pages. Additionally, after some further digging around the agreement text, the exporter would also learn that the tariff on his product “shall be removed in ten equal annual stages beginning on the date this Agreement enters into force, and such goods shall be duty-free, effective January 1 of year ten.” Only with a calculator in hand could the exporter figure out what duty to pay that year to take advantage of the lower FTA rates.
With the FTA Tariff Tool, though, a company can find out exactly what tariff will be charged with just a single click. Consider a packaging company exploring new markets to expand its export base. Leaders there learned that one country with potential was Chile, and the company wanted to see what their tariff cost would be to ship to that market. The United States and Chile have a Free Trade Agreement, but the question remained: how did this broad agreement impact the specific company’s costs to export to Chile? Using the FTA Tariff Tool, the tariff information for Chile was calculated instantly and without much effort at all. Now the packaging company can factor that tariff charge into their business plan and focus on more important strategic issues. Small- and medium-sized businesses, who are the firms most likely to benefit from this tool, may find comfort in this packaging company’s example. Companies daunted by the influx of byzantine information in the global marketplace will find themselves able to quickly assess their situation, thanks to the FTA Tariff Tool.
Countless companies are using the FTA Tariff Tool to help expand their business. There is a quick start guide and an instructional video to help you get started at that link. Give the FTA Tariff Tool a try, and let us know what you think.
Posts created by Courtney Gregoire of the U.S. Department of Commerce are "United States Government Works" as described in the U.S. Copyright Act and therefore are not subject to protection in the United States.