Colombia’s Congress on Tuesday voted against a signed free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea following disappointing results of a similar deal with the United States.
Congress of Colombia voted against the free trade agreement, which did not make it past the third debate in the House of Representatives, as it was decided to further study some of the more controversial clauses including one which affected the automobile industry, which would have been one of the hardest hit by the trade agreement, reported El Universal.
“The government felt that it should give itself some time to analyze some of the concerns that were raised by some sectors that have to do with the automobile industry” said Congressman Telesforo Pedraza, who regretted the decision.
Pedraza said that he though the trade agreement with South Korea, “was the best treaty negotiated by the Government of Colombia in recent years,” which has also approved free trade agreements with the United States, the European Union and Canada among others.
The FTA was signed by the two countries in February 2013, although the trade pact has been held up in the Colombian Congress three times, and has always faced stiff opposition from different sectors of industry.
Free trade deals have come under increased scrutiny in Colombia after a deal with the United States that took effect in 2012 spurred a drop in exports and is widely blamed for an economic crisis in Colombia’s rural sector.