Colombian president Alvaro Uribe said Thursday his optimism about a speedy passage of the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (FTA) has been renewed, according to an official press release from the president’s website.
“This morning I heard some statements that brought back optimism, the possibility for a quick passage of the FTA with the United States in their Congress makes me smile,” Uribe said.
Uribe’s comment follows U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk’s statement Thursday that moving forward with free trade deals was vital to fulfilling Obama’s promise to double exports.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates also said Thursday that he hoped to see the U.S.’s free trade agreement with Colombia finalized because “it’s a good deal” for both countries.
Uribe went on to explain that there is currently a bipartisan movement in the U.S. Congress that is working to get the FTA passed, “Groups of representatives from both parties are reactivating to seek … ratification of the FTA as soon as possible. Hopefully they’ll do it.”
Last week, Colombia’s ambassador to the U.S., Carolina Barco, announced that she would be renewing efforts to lobby the U.S. Congress in support of the pending free trade agreement.
The U.S.-Colombia FTA was originally signed in 2006 under former U.S. President George W. Bush. It has been passed by the Colombian Congress, but has remained in limbo in the U.S., with President Barack Obama yet to send it to Congress for a vote.