The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) includes a number of additional economic benefits to U.S. industries. Here’s a snapshot:
FTA’s Benefits Across Key U.S. Industries
The agreement will immediately eliminate tariffs on:
- 100 percent of U.S. aerospace exports – which accounted for > $907 million, on average between 2008 and 2010.
- 100 percent of U.S. textiles and apparel exports – which accounted for > $129.3 million, on average between 2008 and 2010.
- 95 percent of U.S. information and communication technology exports – which accounted for > $800 million, on average between 2008 and 2010.
- 86 percent of U.S. chemicals exports – which accounted for nearly $2.5 billion, on average between 2008 and 2010.
- 78 percent of U.S. environmental goods exports – which accounted for > $215 million, on average between 2008 and 2010.
The FTA also includes strong provisions to ensure the protection of intellectual property (IP) rights, labor rights, the environment and fair rules related to government procurement.
Intellectual Property Rights
IP accounts for more than half of U.S. exports and contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy. The FTA includes “state-of-the-art” IP provisions that will protect the inventions and innovations produced by U.S. firms, including small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The FTA will:
- Improve standards and enforcement mechanisms for the protection of IP rights, and protect copyrighted works, including movies, music and software.
- Deter copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting through tough criminal penalties.
- Ensure stringent patent and test data protection pursuant to the World Trade Organization’s Doha Declaration on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and Public Health.
Labor Rights and the Environment
The FTA also includes the most advanced protections of labor rights and the environment ever included in a trade agreement.
The FTA will:
- Ensure both governments abide by commitments to adopt and maintain laws and practices pursuant to the 1998 ILO Declaration on Fundamental Practices and Rights and Work.
- Lead to additional protections of labor rights in Colombia, as outlined in the bilateral Action Plan Related to Labor Rights initialed by both governments on April 7, 2011, and consistent with the Santos Administration’s vision and progressive policies related.
- Make certain that both governments enforce domestic environmental laws and adopt, maintain and implements laws and regulations pursuant to multilateral environmental agreements.
- Provide impartial dispute settlement mechanisms identical to those for commercial matters.
The FTA will:
- Provide U.S. companies with an equal opportunity to bid on procurement opportunities offered by Colombian national and regional government agencies, ministries and public enterprises.
- Ensure non-discriminatory treatment in bidding on procurement opportunities, and require the use of fair and transparent procurement procedures and practices.