Colombia’s trade minister on Tuesday admitted a free trade agreement with the United States, in force since exactly a year ago, did not result in the promised increase in exports to the northern American trade partner.
In an interview with newspaper El Espectador, Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados said the disappointing results of the U.S.-Colombia FTA were due to a slow-down of the U.S. economy which consequently caused a slow-down in imports.
“Our first year was dominated by two circumstances. First; the FTA was only just beginning and second; it took off at a moment that the U.S. economy began to slow down. The country had a drop in its dynamics of imports from around the world.”
However, according to the latest report of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. imports went up slightly over the past year.
The same bureau also did not register a slow-down of the U.S. economy which has shown quarterly growth rates between 0.4% and 2.5% over the past year.
Diaz-Granados, who a year ago today predicted a 10% growth in exports to the U.S., was forced to admit exports “dropped slightly.”
According to Colombia’s national statistics agency DANE, exports to the U.S. dropped 13% in the year after the implementation of the trade agreement. Imports from the U.S. grew 15%, the agency’s statistics show.
Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce will be in Colombia’s capital Bogota Wednesday to celebrate the first year of free trade between the two trade partners.
- “Las exportaciones totales a EE.UU. no crecieron” (El Espectador)