U.s.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement
Once implemented, the agreement would eliminate tariffs on 80% of U.S. exports of consumer goods and industrial products to Colombia. 7% of U.S. exports would be processed duty-free within five years of implementation. The remaining tariffs would be abolished ten years after they were implemented. Colombia will join the World Trade Organization (WTO) Information Technology Agreement (ITA), which would remove barriers to trade between Colombia and computer products.  However, political violence in Colombia had declined sharply over the past decade and objections to the trade agreement were criticized by Colombians and the Republican Party. Canada`s Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who signed a Canada-Colombia agreement that came into force in August 2011, accused opponents of trade agreements with the country of “obstructing the development of Colombia`s prosperity,” adding, “We cannot block the progress of a country like this for protectionist reasons and we are trying to use human rights as a front for that.”  Why Colombia? Colombia is already a strong trading partner of the United States and has the potential to be an even more important place for business. Trade with Colombia offers increased economic opportunities for American producers, workers and farmers. Colombia is a growing market for U.S. exporters and a good economic and political partner for the United States. In addition, our trade agreement with Colombia supports other U.S. trade and policy objectives in Latin America.
President Obama asked the U.S. Trade Representative`s office to address the outstanding issues of the agreement;  However, during a visit by Colombian President Uribe in June 2009, Obama said he did not have a “strict timetable” for the agreement, as the controversy over the security of Colombian leaders persists.  The refusal of the U.S. Congress to obtain approval of the Colombian Free Trade Agreement has had a negative impact on bilateral relations between the two nations.  On October 12, 2011, the U.S. Congress approved the Colombian United States. Free trade agreement. On October 21, 2011, the President of the United States signed an agreement on the implementation of the agreement. On April 10, 2012, the Colombian Congress passed the laws of application of the TPA between the United States and Colombia. The U.S.-Colombia trade agreement came into force on May 15, 2012. (Note: This html version of the chords was created by SICE. You will find a PDF version here) During the first 10 months of the Santos government in Colombia, 104 human rights activists and workers were murdered.
One category of human rights violations involves the killing of more than 50 Chiefs of Legal Left workers by paramilitaries and death squads, and there have sometimes been accusations of involvement of multinational corporations. In some cases, this has resulted in damaging public charges and even legal proceedings for several U.S. and Canadian multinationals (including Dole, Coca-Cola, Drummond Coal and Chiquita, formerly a united Fruit Company). Colombia`s Sintraminercol mining union said many international mining companies already working in Colombia have a record of paramilitary cooperation and the lax environment.