WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE COLOMBIA-U.S. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT

On coltrade.org you can find comments about the Colombia – U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
Comments by U.S. Companies and Industry Associations

“A U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is a very positive step in achieving a climate of liberalization throughout the hemisphere.A free trade agreement with Colombia will stimulate both passenger and cargo traffic between the two nations.”

D. Scott Yohe 
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs
Delta Air Lines


A comprehensive and commercially meaningful U.S.-Colombia FTA will not only expand market access and create new commercial opportunities, it will create high-standard rules in key areas that can be instrumental in helping promote the rule of law and deeper economic growth and development. More importantly, closer economic ties between the United States and Colombia will facilitate efforts by both countries to combat illegal drug trafficking and address other national security issues of common concern.”

Calman J. Cohen 
President 
Emergency Committee for American Trade


“A commercially-meaningful FTA that can expand upon the ATPDEA will be beneficial to U.S. apparel and footwear companies and their suppliers, U.S. consumers, and the countries of the Andean region. It can turn the current unilateral import preference program into a full-fledged and reciprocal export/import trade partnership.”

Kevin M. Burke 
President & CEO 
American Apparel & Footwear Association


“As the leading U.S. financial group in Colombia, we believe that the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will strengthen the Colombian economy. It will help create new trade opportunities and promote market liberalization, which will in turn stimulate employment and rejuvenate an economy adversely impacted by recession. In addition, the agreement will engender the economic growth necessary to support Colombia’s democracy and consolidate its social stability.”

Jorge A. Bermudez
CEO 
Citigroup Latin America


“This far-sighted announcement will contribute directly to economic growth and support friends and allies in a strategically important region.”

Bill Rhodes 
Chairman 
The Council of the Americas


“There is great opportunity in the Andean market for U.S. services suppliers in a range of sectors, and we are delighted that the U.S. is pursuing a free trade agreement with these countries. These countries have taken an active role in the WTO services negotiations; our pursuit of a free trade agreement will complement our cooperation in the multilateral setting.”

Robert Vastine 
President 
U.S. Coalition of Service Industries


“As an organization with long-standing and keen business interests in the countries of the Americas, we remain committed to the growth, development and improvement in well-being of the people of all countries in our Hemisphere. Consistent with this, the realization of a Free Trade Agreement between our country and Colombia would be mutually beneficial and serve as an example to other countries on the continent of South America.”

J.P. Morgan


“The U.S. is Colombia’s largest trading partner, both in terms of imports and exports. Since the renewal of the ATPA, trade between the U.S. and Colombia is up 20 percent. In the region, Colombia is a leading importer of computers and related equipment. Colombia’s Information Technology (IT) sector has experienced impressive growth and offered significant opportunity to the private sector over each of the past several years. A U.S.-Colombia FTA would strengthen the mutually beneficial trade relationship and economic partnership between our two nations.”

Jack Krumholtz 
Managing Director, Federal Government AffairsMicrosoft Corporation


“This initiative (The U.S.-Andean Trade Talks) will allow U.S. manufacturers to quickly bring down some very significant barriers that currently impede our exports to the Andean region. It also should help us achieve very high standards to protect investment and intellectual property in that part of the world, and should facilitate the negotiation of the hemispheric-wide Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) by getting these Andean nations and their private sectors on the same page as the United States.”

Jerry Jasinowski 
President 
National Association of Manufacturers


“We have a tremendous opportunity to build a regional, integrated production platform for textiles and apparel by making these countries part of the Western Hemisphere FTA network. This system would allow manufacturers in the region and in the United States to compete effectively with Asian producers by linking countries like Colombia that have integrated textile industry to countries like Honduras that have strong apparel industry but limited local yarn and fabrics. Integration of this sort would be of great benefit also to U.S. fiber, yarn, and fabric producers, as well as apparel manufacturers, retailers, and ultimately the U.S. consumer.”

Erik Autor 
Vice President and International Trade Counsel National Retail Federation


“With respect to the pharmaceutical industry, it is important to highlight that the Colombian government has taken significant steps to improve the intellectual property environment. Specifically, President Uribe has passed Decree 2085 to protect the confidential test data of innovative pharmaceutical products. This action has not, for example, been followed in any other Andean country and demonstrates an important commitment by President Uribe and the Government of Colombia to shed Colombia’s long-standing poor implementation of TRIPS.”

Karen Katen 
Executive Vice President 
Pfizer Inc.


“The CEOs of the Business Roundtable support these negotiations to strengthen trade, economic and political ties between the United States and the Andean nations of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. In fact, two-way trade between the U.S. and these countries totaled close to $17 billion in 2002. These negotiations can help create new jobs and open new markets for U.S. products by addressing tariffs on goods and services.”

John J. Castellani 
President 
The Business Roundtable


“SUA is committed to working with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to achieving a balanced trade agreement that will provide for a smooth transition to open markets. The Association believes that future agricultural and food trade between the two countries will be mutually beneficial.”

Sweetener Users Association 
November 18, 2003 Press Release


“UPS believes this agreement will create benefits for both the international market as well as the domestic market. In Latin America and the Caribbean, UPS provides service to more than 50 countries and territories through more than 335 UPS Customer Centers and operating centers and employs more than 6,000 people. Continuing to open trade barriers in this region will enable UPS to more easily facilitate the growing needs of trade.”

Selina Jackson 
Vice President, International Public Affairs 
UPS


“The proposed free trade agreement is an opportunity to leverage the success of our trade ties to the Andean region. Since the Andean Trade Promotion Act was approved in 1991, U.S. trade with the four countries has nearly doubled, reaching $16.8 billion in 2002. It will create new markets for U.S. exporters and generate a broader range of business and job opportunities from Lima, Ohio to Lima, Peru.”

Daniel W. Christman 
Senior Vice President for International Affairs United States Chamber of Commerce


“At the end of the day, the goal is to truly integrate the business among all of the countries in this hemisphere. If these agreements include business-friendly, flexible origin rules that allow our members to draw upon the resources and value offered throughout the hemisphere to produce a quality product for the customer in the right time period and at the right price, everyone will win.”

Laura E. Jones
Executive Director 
U.S. Association of Importers of
Textiles and Apparel


“Colombia depends almost completely on imported wheat, and the United States and Canada are the largest competitors for their market. Colombia is an ideal candidate for an FTA with the U.S. because of its market size and, more importantly to the U.S. wheat industry, its vast potential.”

Alan T. Tracy 
President 
U.S. Wheat Associates


“Dole plays an important role, particularly in Colombia, in the Andean flower industry, which has been a strong ally of the United States…Because duty free flower imports from the Andean region have a demonstrated track record of benefits for the U.S. floral industry, the U.S. economy, and U.S. consumers, coupled with Dole’s critical role in the U.S. and Andean floral industries, Dole strongly supports the effort to establish a U.S.-Andean FTA that includes duty free treatment for flowers.”

John T. Schouten
President
Dole Fresh Flowers