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Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) (Tratado de Libre Comercio entre Colombia y Estados Unidos (TLC)), is a proposed bilateral free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia. Sometimes called the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, it was signed on November 22, 2006, by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative John Veroneau and Colombian Minister of Trade, Industry, and Tourism Jorge Humberto Botero. CTPA is a comprehensive agreement that will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade in goods and services between the United States and Colombia.

Colombia's Congress approved the agreement and a protocol of amendment in 2007. Colombia's Constitutional Court completed its review in July 2008, and concluded that the Agreement conforms to Colombia's Constitution. President Obama tasked the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative with seeking a path to address outstanding issues surrounding the Colombia FTA.

Economic relationship

The United States is Colombias leading trading partner. In 2005, 39% of Colombias exports went to the United States, and 29% of Colombias imports were supplied by the United States. The second most significant trading partner for Colombia is Venezuela, accounting for 7% of Colombias imports and 10% of Colombias exports. Other significant trading partners for Colombia are Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, and Brazil.

Colombia accounts for less than 1% of total U.S. trade. Colombia is the 28th largest U.S. export market ($5.41 billion in 2005) and the 31st largest source of U.S. imports

($8.85 billion in 2005). The dominant U.S. import item from Colombia is crude oil (38% of U.S. imports from Colombia in 2005), followed by coal (7% of total), and other

petroleum oils (6% of total). The leading U.S. export items are corn (4% of U.S. exports to Colombia in 2005), vinyl chloride (4% of total), and office and data processing

machinery parts (3% of total). U.S. imports have increased notably since 1996, from $4.27 billion in 1996 to $8.85 billion in 2005, a 107% increase. The U.S.

trade deficit with Colombia was $3.43 billion in 2005.


In May 2004, the United States initiated free trade agreement negotiations with Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. The United States concluded negotiations with Colombia in February 2006 and the CTPA was signed on November 22, 2006. After, based on "the New Trade Policy Template", a bipartisan agreement, both countries negotiated a Protocol of Amendment that was signed on June 28, 2007.

Process in Colombia

The agreement was signed on November 22, 2006, was submitted to the Colombian Congress by President Alvaro Uribe on November 30, 2006. The Bill was debated and voted in a joint session on April 25, 2006. The House Floor approved it on June 5, 2007 (Yeas 85 Nays 10) and the Senate Floor vote on June 14, 2007 (Yeas 55 Nays 3). Finally, the CTPA became public law - Ley 143 - on July 4, 2007.

The Protocol of Amendment, signed on June 28, 2007, was submitted to the Colombian Congress by, Uribe on July 20 of 2007. The Bill was approved in a joint session on August 29, 2007 and voted by the House Floor on September 25, 2007 (Yeas 84 - Nays 3). After, the Senate Floor approved the Bill on October 30, 2007 (Yeas 54 - Nays 16). Finally, the Protocol of Amendment became public Law - Ley 1116- on November 21, 2007.

The Agreement then underwent a constitutionally mandated court review, according to Colombian regulations. The agreement was deemed to conform to the Colombian Constitution by Colombia's Constitutional Court in July 2008.

Process in the U.S.

President Bush sent legislation to implement the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to Congress for its approval on April 7, 2007. It was not approved before the end of the Congressional session in December, 2008 or the end of President Bush's term in January, 2009.

President Obama has asked the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to address outstanding issues in the agreement; however, during a visit from Colombian President Uribe in June, 2009, Obama said he did not have a "strict timetable" to the agreement, as controversy over the safety of Colombian labor leaders continue.

Key Provisions of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

Market Access

Upon implementation, the agreement would eliminate duties on 80% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia. An additional 7% of U.S. exports would receive duty-free treatment within five years of implementation. Remaining tariffs would be eliminated ten years after implementation. Colombia will join the World Trade Organizations (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which would remove Colombias trade barriers to information technology products.

In agriculture, the agreement would grant duty-free treatment immediately to certain farm products from both countries, including high quality beef, cotton, wheat, and soybean meal. Other products that would receive immediate duty-free treatment are key fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, peaches, and cherries, and many processed food products, including frozen french fries and cookies. Some other products would receive improved market access; these include pork, beef, corn, poultry, rice, fruits and vegetables, processed products, and dairy products. The United States and Colombia worked together to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary barriers to trade in agriculture, including food safety inspection procedures for beef, pork, and poultry. These commitments are reportedly written in two separate side letters on sanitary and phytosanitary measures that would be attached to the FTA.

See also

Peru-United States Free Trade Agreement

Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act

External links

Embassy of Colombia

The Colombian Government Trade Bureau

U.S. International Trade Commission Press Release

Congressional Research Service Report on Andean Free Trade Agreement, including Peru TPA

Colombia-United States Free Trade Agreement at Discourse DB

Brief Summary of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Fact Sheets Detailed Summary of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement

Full Text of the Agreement (English)

Video talking about the reasons for a FTA with Colombia - Under Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Chris. Padilla)

May 20, 2008 McCain: Colombia FTA Benefits U.S.

May 14, 2008 - Colombian's leading productive sector trade unions and their members strongly support the U.S. - Colombia TPA. Here are their testimonies

May 8, 2008 - Businessweek "Cheap Shots Over Free Trade"

May 7, 2008 - U.S. Senate "U.S. - Colombia Trade Agreement Good for American Jobs"

May 6, 2008 - USTR Ambassador Schwab remarks to the Peterson Institute. "I call on the Congressional leadership to bring the Colombia FTA to a vote. Lets move forward with our agenda"

May 6, 2008 - Bloomberg "Canada Pushes Colombia Trade Agreement, as U.S. Deal Languishes"

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement

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