The Trade Promotion Agreement between the Andean Countries and the United States is an international treaty that, once implemented, will regulate the trade and investment relationship between the parties in a comprehensive manner, with the aim of increasing trade and investment flows and contributing to the economic and social development of the signatory countries.
In May, the United States initiated free trade agreement negotiations with Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. The United States concluded negotiations with Peru in December. The conclusion of the negotiations with Colombia was announced on February by Jorge Humberto Botero, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism. and U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman.
Beyond market access and rules in trade in goods and, services , and investment, and government procurement, the agreement establishes disciplines in areas such as intellectual property, customs administration, competition, labor, environment investment, services, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies and dispute settlement procedures.
General Objectives – Colombia
- Improve the welfare of the population through employment and economic growth that will result from increased trade and investment.
- Increase Colombian exports of products and services, in particular exports of agricultural goods.
- Promote and facilitate the offering and export of services.
- Provide foreign investors with a more stable and secure business environment.
- Ensure Colombian exporters have equal access to other countries in bidding for U.S. government contracts.
- Ensure equal conditions and avoid trade distortions caused by government subsidies to local producers, and to prevent anti-competitive and trade restricting practices.
- Achieve reasonable levels of protection for intellectual property, with the aim of promoting innovation and production of goods and services in Colombia, but without compromising the health of the population or affordable access to medicines.
- Generate conditions that promote the transfer of new technologies from other countries.
- Design an effective dispute settlement system.
Here you can also find some information about The Colombian Economy in Brief.
Objectives by Topic – Colombia
- Market Access: Ensure that Colombian products enter the U.S. market duty free and do not face unnecessary administrative or technical barriers. In exchange, this will allow U.S. products to enter the Colombian market in similar conditions, with the exception of certain sensitive products that can eventually receive special treatment in the negotiation. Additionally, gradual and reasonable tariff elimination schedules are sought to allow Colombian businesses to adjust to increased competition, with particular consideration for Colombia’s lower level of development.
- Agriculture: Enable its agricultural exports to enter the U.S. market duty free and without unnecessary administrative or technical barriers. Additionally, Colombia seeks to counteract the trade distortions created by practices such as producer subsidies. Equally important, Colombia is seeking to ensure that sanitary measures related to the prevention and control of animal and plant diseases are not used to discriminate against its agricultural exports.
- Services: Eliminate barriers to trade in services and develop transparent rules for services providers.
- Investment: Establish fair and transparent rules that provide for a more stable investment environment and promote foreign investment in Colombia. Additionally, ensure that Colombian investors receive equal treatment as U.S. investors in their country.
- Anti-dumping, Subsidies and Countervailing Measures: Strengthen institutional mechanisms to protect Colombian exporters and producers against unfair and distorting trade measures and subsidies, as well as protect producers from foreign competition that is selling at prices below its own market.
- Competition Policy: Prevent anti-competitive practices that affect trade in goods and services between the signatory countries.
- Intellectual Property Rights: Achieve reasonable levels of protection for intellectual property, with the aim of promoting innovation and production of goods and services in Colombia, but without compromising the health of the population or affordable access to medicines, given Colombia’s level of development.
- Dispute Settlement: Establish a fair, transparent and efficient mechanism to resolve controversies that arise between the signatory countries.
- Government Procurement: Ensure that Colombian providers of goods and services can effectively participate and have access to the bidding processes of U.S. government agencies, in a non-discriminatory manner.