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U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement

The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was implemented on May 15, 2012, and is  generating opportunities for both countries that are increasing economic growth and supporting job creation. With the FTA in place, the U.S.-Colombia trade partnership is stronger than ever and the highly complementary U.S. and Colombian economies are reaping the benefits.

Between June 2012 and February 2013, compared to the previous year, two-way trade accounted for $28.5 billion, an increase of five percent. During that period of time, U.S. exports to Colombia increased 20 percent, including significant increases in oil and derivatives, aircraft and parts, electric machinery, iron and steel products, cereals, soybean products and pharmaceutical products – accounting for $11.4 billion. U.S. agricultural exports alone increased by 68 percent.

Colombian exports to the United States accounted for $17.1 billion, and 57 percent of total Colombian exports benefited from the FTA – including 33 percent of agricultural exports. In addition, nearly 1,000 exports that did not benefit from one-way trade preferences under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) are now covered under the FTA. These exports – sugar, confectionery goods, textiles, tuna and dairy products, among others – increased by 185 percent increase since the entry into force of the FTA.

When it was implemented, the FTA symbolized a new chapter in the economic partnership between Colombia and the United States, as it established a common framework for bilateral trade and investment and the protection of intellectual property and labor rights and the environment. The FTA has and will continue to expand both of our economies through increased exports, investment and job creation.

Timeline

On November 22, 2006, the United States and Colombia signed the FTA.

The Colombian Congress approved the agreement on June 14, 2007. 

In addition, in June 2007, based on a new bipartisan trade policy template included in U.S. free trade agreements, both countries negotiated and signed a Protocol of Amendment incorporating enhanced labor and environmental provisions. Following the negotiation of the Protocol of Amendment signed on June 28, 2007 and approved by Congress on October 30, 2007, Colombia completed the necessary steps for ratification when the Constitutional Court ruled that the agreement conforms to Colombia’s Constitution on July 24, 2008.

On April 7, 2011, the Obama and Santos administrations announced a bilateral Action Plan Related to Labor Rights. The Action Plan laid out steps related to the protection of labor rights in Colombia, which are consistent with the Santos Administration’s vision and progressive policies.

On October 12, 2011, both chambers of the U.S. Congress approved the agreement, which President Obama signed into law on October 21, 2011.

After a seven-month implementation phase, Colombia and the United States exchanged notes on April 15, 2012. The FTA entered into force on May 15, 2012.

Benefits of the FTA

Learn about the benefits of the FTA to U.S. companies, investors, farmers, ranchers and workers:

 
Useful Links

Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Tourism 
Colombia - US Economic and Commercial Profile (in Spanish)
Official Trade Statistics (in Spanish)
Colombia’s Government Free Trade Agreements Website (in Spanish)
Proexport (Colombia’s Government Trade, Investment and Tourism Promotion Office)