FAQ: U.S. - Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA)

How Can U.S. Companies Benefit

The United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has proven to be a valuable tool for dramatically increasing trade between the United States and Chile. In 2006, U.S.-Chile trade was two and half times greater than trade in 2003, before the FTA took effect.

The U.S. Chile Free Trade Agreement entered into force on January 1, 2004. At that time, more than 85% of two way trade in consumer and industrial goods became duty free. Duties on other products will gradually be phased out over a 12 year period.

In order to take advantage of the benefits for US goods under this agreement, exporters will need to understand how to determine that their goods are originating or qualify for preferential duty treatment under the U.S.-Chile FTA Rules of Origin.

Some may find the concept of qualifying one’s goods to be a complicated one. US exporters will find information here to help guide them through the process. Users of this site should keep in mind that only the U.S.-Chile FTA text itself and the customs regulations of Chile that may be issued to implement the Agreement are definitive.

Lower duty rates are certainly not the only benefit provided by the US Chile Free Trade Agreement. The agreement also contains commitments by both countries on many non-tariff issues including; intellectual property rights, services, investment, temporary entry of business/technical persons, and telecommunications.

Under the U.S.-Chile FTA, Chile is obligated to adopt stronger protection and enforcement provisions for copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets. Chile is also required under the agreement to remove restrictive regulatory barriers in place for US service providers. These changes, among others, will provide US businesses with a more accessible and more easily navigable Chilean market.

The Department of Commerce's Market Access and Compliance offices will be monitoring this Agreement to ensure that Chile fully complies with its trade obligations. If you encounter problems under the U.S.-Chile FTA, please contact our Agreements Compliance office.