Colombia’s minister of trade, industry and tourism, Luis Guillermo Plata, announced Tuesday that the country has reached the “final stages” of negotiating a free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada, reports Caracol Radio.
After a month of discussion in the Canadian House of Commons over the agreement, Plata announced that he would be traveling to the North American country next week to finalize the deal.
Plans to implement an FTA between the two countries were first proposed last year, but was discussion was delayed on more than one occasion.
The agreement was presented to the Canadian government one month ago, and has been discussed by the country’s House of Commons and the Committee for International Trade.
According to Plata, those who voted for the agreement included Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper and leader of the Liberal Party Michael Ignatieff.
The Colombia-Canada FTA is expected to take effect in July 2010. The deal has faced opposition within Canada due to Colombia’s human rights record, with a leading auto union calling the deal “a shocking betrayal of Canadians’ expectation that we don’t negotiate with human rights abusers.”