Colombia’s Agriculture Minister Juan Camilo Restrepo, has clarified Wednesday, that the nation’s agricultural sector is ready for the free trade agreement with the U.S. except certain sub-sectors.
In an interview with W Radio Minister Restrepo was asked “is Colombia agriculturally ready for the FTA?” to which he responded, “yes, it is, there will be sectors that will benefit greatly.” This is in stark contrast to statements by Restrepo made Monday.
He then added “I am very concerned about the fate of the 350,000 Colombian families who produce rice and milk.”
The minister specified the sub-sectors which stand to gain. “The ministry thinks that the free trade agreement presents immediate possibilities for agricultural sectors such as fruits and vegetables” because they can enter the United States without tariffs, but there are other sub-sectors such as those of rice, beans and milk for which the entering into the trade agreement represents “new challenges.”
The agricultural minister went on to say that 70% of food production in Colombia is done by small producers, and those are the ones who need the most protection but also said that the Ministry “is pleased that the FTA [will] be approved.”