Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told German weekly Der Spiegel there is “movement” in the visibly stalled process leading to the Washington ratification of a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia.
In an extensive interview, the Colombian head of state said there “maybe” will be “progress” visible in the first weeks of April.
The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has so far refused to present the free trade agreement to congress and is demanding improvement in Colombia’s labor rights situation.
In an interview last week, Santos called these demands not only reasonable but actively desirable.
We have no problem signing or committing ourselves to defending the workers’ rights, because we believe in that,” Santos said in an interview with U.S. television network Bloomberg Thursday.
The U.S.-Colombia FTA was signed by former U.S. President George W. Bush and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe in 2006, but because of resistance by the Democratic majority in Congress never put on the agenda. The Colombian government and U.S. exporters have been lobbying the approval of the bill, claiming the FTA will stimulate both economies.