Colombia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Gabriel Silva said Monday that last week’s mid-term elections provide a new opportunity for the country to approve the free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia.
In an interview with W Radio, Silva said, “There is a window of opportunity after Tuesday’s elections.” The ambassador said that since the U.S. House of Representatives now has a Republican majority, the legislative body is more likely to approve the pending FTA. The agreement between the two countries was signed in 2006, but has yet to be approved by the U.S. Congress because of human rights concerns from Democratic politicians.
The ambassador added that he doesn’t expect the agreement to pass this year because the U.S. Congress has to “adjust to new realities.” Silva called Washington “a new world” after Tuesday’s elections.
“If the U.S. doesn’t have an FTA with Colombia, it might sound arrogant, but it is them who will lose,” Silva said. The ambassador added that Colombia’s FTAs with Canada and Europe mean the U.S. will lose out on trade opportunities while Colombia pursues relationships in other markets.
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for the passing of the FTA, as has Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.