In a letter to President Barack Obama, 39 U.S. congressmen urge their head of state to support the ratification of the nation’s pending free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia.
“The longer we wait to approve the agreement… the more we stand to lose because Colombia has already concluded free trade negotiations with Canada and the European Union. Clearly, further delay risks sacrificing the entire Colombian market to U.S. competitors,” the letter reads.
“U.S. products pay full duty into Colombian markets. The agreement would finally permit duty-free access for U.S. exports of goods and services. In fact, virtually every economic study has come to the conclusion that the United States will benefit economically from the agreement.”
The congressmen also stress the impact that the agreement will have on national security.
“Colombia has been a valuable ally to the United States and we believe strengthening our economic ties with Colombia will help to ensure the country continues on the path to reform, stability, and friendship in an increasingly volatile region,” it says.
The letter includes the signatures of 20 Democratic congressmen, whose party has traditionally been opposed to the agreement.
The FTA was signed in 2006 by former U.S. President George W. Bush and is yet to be ratified by U.S. Congress. Obama has not put it before Congress, despite claiming that he supports its “rapid ratification.”
According to some U.S. senators the deal will not be ratified this year, due to a lack of time.