The International Trade Committee of the European Parliament (EP) on Tuesday advised Europe’s legislative body to approve a trade deal with Colombia and Peru.
According to a committee press release, “this agreement will greatly enhance economic activity both in the EU and in Colombia and Peru, contributing to economic growth and the prosperity of our peoples.”
The trade deal is opposed by human rights organizations who accuse Colombia of not respecting human and labor rights. According to the commission however, Colombia has “responded to our request by undertaking to make measurable improvements in human, labor and environmental rights.”
Amendments suggesting that the EP should withhold its consent were rejected in the committee, “although a minority remains deeply concerned about Columbia’s (sic) human rights record and in particular the murder of trade unionists, failures to protect the rights of indigenous people and breaches of human rights in the mining sector.”
The recommendation that the European Parliament give its consent was approved with 20 votes in favor, four against and one abstention.
Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos optimistically announced earlier this month that his country and the European Commission will sign the agreement reducing import tariffs in December.
According to the European trade committee, parliament will “probably” vote on the trade pact next month. If parliament approves the pact, member states must ratify the decision.