Colombian President Santos thinks U.S. Congress will approve a retroactive extension of the expired trade preference act with the U.S.
According to Santos, U.S. congressmen have indicated that the ATPDEA that allows Colombian companies to export to the U.S. duty-free will be approved.
“Yesterday I spoke personally with Senator Lugar, a senator with great influence in the U.S. Senate. Yesterday I also talked to senator Kerry, who is the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. They told me they were convinced that there is no problem with the extension, that it is an internal problem between the two parties that have nothing to do with Colombia,” Santos told a crowd in the city of Cucuta.
Santos said the talks he had made him feel confident a free trade agreement between Colombia and the U.S. will be ratified by U.S. Congress this year.
“I told them: ‘I hope we finally move from words to action,’ because they have been saying that for a long time already. But they told me they were fairly optimistic that this year and this term there is a high possibility that this pact finally will be presented before Congress where we believe there is a majority of both the Democratic and the Republican Party in favor of the treaty,” Santos said.
Republicans have increasingly pressured U.S. President Barack Obama to present the FTA before congress.
The FTA was signed by the two governments in 2006, but never voted on by U.S. Congress. The ATPDEA expired February 12.