16 May 2014
“As we mark a second year of expanded trade between the United States and Colombia, American workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses are continuing to see important benefits from this agreement,” said U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman in a May 16 news release.
“We will continue to work closely with the Colombian government to unlock new opportunities for increased exports from the United States,” Froman said. “At the same time, we will build on the progress made to date by Colombia to improve respect for labor rights and press for further steps to ensure the full implementation of the Labor Action Plan.”
The Colombian government has been pursuing sound policies to promote market openness and competitiveness and has promoted export diversification during the period of the trade agreement, USTR said in a May 16 fact sheet. “Since the Agreement came into force,” the fact sheet said, “Colombia diversified its export base with 1,609 companies exporting goods to the United States for the first time.”
“The future of our economic relationship, building on our trade agreement, is bright,” the fact sheet said.
Colombia is the third-largest purchaser of U.S. agricultural products in South America, and U.S. manufacturing exports to Colombia were up 32 percent in 2013, compared to 2011.
The United States and Colombia signed the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement on November 22, 2006. On April 7, 2011, the two countries announced a Labor Action Plan that included concrete steps for the Colombian government to take in order to address a number of serious labor concerns.
“Since then, the Colombian government has made meaningful progress under the plan, but much important work remains and the two countries are working closely together to build on the progress achieved so far,” the USTR news release said. The U.S. Congress approved the U.S.-Colombia pact on October 12, 2011, and the agreement entered into force on May 15, 2012.