Colombia’s interior and justice minister has said that Colombia has fulfilled the conditions for the U.S. to approve the free trade agreement between the two nations, Caracol Radio reported Monday.
German Vargas Lleras announced that Colombia has complied with the requisite of ensuring safety for union leaders, with a citizen security statute due to go before the Colombian Congress this week.
The minister stated that “We have now complied with the rules. It [the statute] is to be with congress for its final debate this week … the statute of citizen security will punish crimes directed toward union leaders.”
Vargas said the government hopes that the Obama administration will now allow the FTA to move further along its passage through the U.S. government. Colombia and the U.S.agreed to a labor deal implementing protection for trade unionists on April 6, as a precondition for FTA approval.
Earlier on Monday, U.S. administration officials said that unless an assistance program to support U.S. workers is renewed, they would delay the passage of the U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement, as well as the FTAs with Panama and South Korea .