Colombia’s economic growth “reflects a larger economic boom” across South America, United States Vice-President Joe Biden said Wednesday.
The US vice-president wrote that the “economic blossoming” he spotted on a recent trip to a cut-flower farm outside Colombia’s capital Bogota, demonstrated advantages of the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) that went into effect May 15, 2012.
“What I saw on the flower farm was just one sign of the economic blossoming in the year since a U.S. free-trade agreement with Colombia went into force,” wrote Biden in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal.
According to the vice-president, Colombia’s economic growth, “reflects a larger economic boom across the Western Hemisphere that offers many exciting partnership opportunities for American business.”
“The spread of free trade and democracy has been a boon to the hemisphere,” Biden said.
The trade pact, in force since May 2012, has since spurred a 15% increase in Colombian imports from the US. On the other hand, Colombia’s exports to the US dropped 13% in that same period, according to the Colombian statistics agency DANE.
In his op-ed, the vice-president underlined that Washington’s alliance goes further than just the economic partnership and that the administration of President Barack Obama had no intention of leaving Colombia’s side in an ongoing peace process with the FARC, the country’s largest rebel group. “The U.S. will continue to stand by Colombia as it seeks to bring an end to the longest-running conflict in the Americas.” Moreover, Biden praised the country for being an inspiration to other in the region, who are seeking to overcome their own challenges.
According to Biden, the huge changes in the South have invited the US to perceive Latin America and the Caribbean in a different way. The vice-president wrote that the defining question for US policy, “is no longer “what can we do for the Americas?” It is “what can we do together?”
Biden visited Colombia in May during which the bilateral relations between the two countries “has never been better.”
- Op-Ed by Vice President Joe Biden in The Wall Street Journal (Humanrights.gov)