Chilean President Sebastian Piñera asked on Monday for his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, to pass the pending Free Trade Agreement with Colombia.
Piñera said, “I want to raise our voice to ask that countries like Colombia and Panama may have an FTA with your (Obama’s) country and to join this initiative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” El Espectador reported.
Obama wasn’t drawn on the issue regarding the FTA with Colombia, but said that he hopes to have a framework in place by the end of the year for joining the TPP, a multilateral trade agreement that consists of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. The U.S. and four others are currently negotiating to join.
The FTA between Colombia and the U.S. has been pending since 2006 but has yet to be submitted to the U.S. Congress for ratification.
In a speech at the weekend, U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Colombia’s advances over the last decade but similarly kept quiet on the issue over the FTA.
Many in the U.S. have stated their hope that it will eventually receive ratification by the end of 2011, however, this has been said almost every year since it was first signed in 2006.
Obama is currently on a tour of Latin America having already visited Brazil and now Chile. El Salvador will provide the last leg of his trip.