Senate approves the Association Agreement between Chile and the United Kingdom
On Tuesday, the Association Agreement between Chile and the United Kingdom was approved in the Senate, with 36 votes in favor. This instrument transfers the conditions of the Association Agreement (AA) between Chile and the European Union (EU) to a bilateral one, which will protect national exporters who make shipments to the British market, in case it materializes the exit of the United Kingdom from the EU.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Teodoro Ribera, pointed out that "thanks to the subscription of these instruments, national exporters will continue to count on the benefits they have had since 2003 in order to have preferential access to that country".
"This Agreement is an insurance against the uncertainty produced by the BREXIT process, since it protects and delivers certainty, not only with respect to the payment of tariffs, but also with respect to the regulatory conditions necessary to access the British market", he said.
Finally, he added that "the central orientation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is that trade agreements bring concrete benefits to Chileans. In this case, it means protecting bilateral trade, our SMEs and exporters and, above all, safeguarding jobs. Last January, Chile became the first country in the world to sign such an agreement with the United Kingdom," he said.
Structure of the agreement
Regarding trade in goods, the instrument maintains the same tariff preferences for the access of Chilean products to the British market. Quotas are maintained for beef, poultry, pork, sheep and goat meat.
One of the relevant elements is the evolutionary nature of the agreement, which contains a series of instruments to expand and modernize its coverage, with an evolutionary clause for agricultural goods, which establishes that in a period of two years (and every two years thereafter), the parties will review the situation of tariff liberalization for agricultural products, being able to improve conditions and take full advantage of its broad potential.
Trade in 2018 reached US$1.36 billion, 19% more than the previous year. Chile's exports to the United Kingdom grew 17% (US$685 million) in 2018, dragged mainly by fruit, bottled wine and processed foods (without salmon). Meanwhile, imports increased 21% during the same period (US$675 million) compared to 2017.