White House sources have confirmed that the Colombian and U.S. administrations have agreed to terms for a free-trade agreement (FTA), which is expected to be formally announced today. The FTA, which was originally signed on November 22, 2006, was being renegotiated under the Obama administration. The changes reflect a decision to add more protection provisions for labor unions.
This FTA will bring significant economic benefits to the U.S. economy, around $1 billion annually according to U.S. officials. Trade experts also predict that the U.S.-Colombia FTA has a better chance of clearing legislative hurdles in the U.S. Congress than in past years. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will visit the White House tomorrow, and will be joined by his minister of foreign affairs, minister of commerce, ambassador, secretary-general, and senior advisors.
The U.S.-Colombia FTA news coincides with the announcement last week that Colombia’s Constitutional Court affirmed the constitutionality of its FTA with Canada, which was already approved by both legislatures. The Canada-Colombia FTA will enter into force on or before July 1.