Colombia’s pending free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada has been finalized after passing a vote Monday night in the Canadian Senate, according to Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
“They have just successfully finished the approval of the free trade agreement (FTA) in the Canadian parliament,” Uribe said.
According to Colombian Trade Minister Luis Guillermo Plata, the Canadian FTA, which passed the Canadian House of Commons last week prior to moving to the Senate for a final vote, will be a “catalyst to move forward the [stalled] FTA with the United States.”
However, on Tuesday, the U.S. undersecretary of commerce reiterated previous statements explaining that he “doesn’t have high expectations to see anything done in the short term,” in regards to moving the U.S. FTA forward.
Colombia began trade talks with Canada on an FTA in 2007, and signed the deal in 2008. Following speedy approval by the Colombian Congress, the FTA has been stalled in the Canadian parliament due to opposition from critics in Canada over Colombia’s human rights record.
Canadian investment in Colombia between 2002 and 2009 surpassed $1 billion, which accounts for 3.6% of the total foreign investment Colombia received during this period.
Trade between the two countries has risen dramatically in recent years, from $490 million in 2003 to $1.08 billion in 2009.