United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday told Congress that his administration will “pursue (free trade) agreements with … Colombia” but set no timetable to have the four-year old pact ratified.
In his third State of the Union address, Obama asked the U.S. Congress to pass a free trade pact with South Korea “as soon as possible” and mentioned the pending treaties with Colombia and Panama, but without any indication his government will take action to bring the trade agreements before Congress.
To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our
exports by 2014 — because the more we export, the more jobs we create at
home. Already, our exports are up. Recently, we signed agreements with
India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United
States. And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea
that will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This agreement has
unprecedented support from business and labor; Democrats and Republicans,
and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.
Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade
agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American
workers, and promote American jobs. That's what we did with Korea, and
that's what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia,
and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.
The U.S.-Colombia FTA was signed by former Presidents George W. Bush and Alvaro Uribe in 2006, but was never ratified by Congress. Despite ongoing Colombian lobbying to have the pact approved, the Obama administration has not yet put the pact up for a congressional vote.