Ustr Colombia Free Trade Agreement

On 7 December 2005, the United States Trade Representative, Rob Portman, and the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Alfredo Ferrero Diez Canesco, announced the successful conclusion of negotiations on the United States-Peru Free Trade Agreement. The agreement would eliminate tariffs and other barriers to goods and services. (14) Ambassador Portman said: “An agreement with Peru is an important element of our strategy to promote free trade within our hemisphere, which we hope to present later in the other Andean countries, including Colombia and Ecuador.” (15) Subsequently, Colombia and Ecuador announced that they also wished to see their negotiations concluded. Bolivia participated in the negotiating meetings as an observer, but it was not expected to be a party to an agreement. The USTR said, “We want to keep the door open. But we also need to acknowledge the realities,” and said the Bolivian government has “some fundamental stability problems.” (12) In mid-June 2005, the President of Bolivia resigned due to widespread opposition to foreign participation in the commodity sectors and other policies and an interim President took office. In the December 2005 elections, Bolivians elected Evo Morales as their president. When Morales was inaugurated on January 22, 2006, he began a five-year term as Bolivia`s fourth president since August 2002. Ecuador also experienced a political change during the negotiations. On 20 April 2005, during the ninth round of FTA negotiations, the Ecuadorian Congress indicted President Lucio Gutierrez of Ecuador and replaced him with Vice-President Alfredo Palacio, a doctor and political independent.

Palacio is the country`s seventh president in nine years. In the agricultural sector, the agreement would immediately treat duty-free certain agricultural products from both countries, including high-quality beef, cotton, wheat and soybean chevrots. Other products that would be treated immediately duty-free are important fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, peaches and cherries, as well as many processed food products, including frozen fries and biscuits. Some other products would benefit from improved market access; These include pork, beef, maize, poultry, rice, fruit and vegetables, processed products and dairy products. The United States and Colombia have cooperated to remove sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade in agriculture, including inspection procedures for food safety of beef, pork and poultry. Those obligations are, according to some information, drawn up in two separate annex letters concerning sanitary and phytosanitary measures which would be annexed to the Free Trade Agreement. [1] The agreement was signed on 22 November 2006 and presented on 30 November 2006 by President Álvaro Uribe to the Colombian Congress. The bill was debated and voted on at a joint meeting on April 25, 2007. The House Floor approved it on 5 June 2007 (Yeas 85, Nays 10) and the Senate vote on 14 June 2007 (Yeas 55, Nays 3). Finally, on July 4, 2007, the CTPA became public – Ley 1143.

Environmental protection commitments: Both sides also committed to effectively enforce their own national environmental laws and to adopt, maintain and implement laws, regulations and all other measures to meet their obligations under covered multilateral environmental agreements. All obligations under the environmental chapter are subject to the same dispute settlement procedures and enforcement mechanisms as the AAA`s trade obligations. Andean governments are pursuing free trade agreements with the United States to ensure access to the huge American market. They now enjoy preferential access under U.S. unilateral programmes (see section below), but this access is expected to end at the end of December 2006. A free trade agreement would set these preferences and additional duty-free treatment. Andean governments also want to attract foreign investment and see a free trade agreement with the United States as a way to create a more secure economic environment and increase foreign investment. . . .