U.S. Ambassador to Bogotá William Brownfield thinks Colombia should
look for alternatives to trade with America as Plan Colombia and
the free trade pact as proposed by former U.S. President George W. Bush will probably be subject to change.
“I believe that the Free Trade Agreement is something we should resolve eventually. We have to accept that voices are coming from Bogotá and Washington that say that we effectively should revise our collaboration under the title of Plan Colombia and it may be that we will decide that a change of name and a change of priority and focus in the future won’t be bad. Strategic Alliance Partner sounds interesting to me. We have also have been considering something else in Washington, something that has not yet been adopted; the Strategic Development Initiative,” Brownfield said Wednesday.
The ambassador thinks a bilateral agreement should incorporate a social factor. “It is necessary to make social investment (…) I think, for example, in more collaboration in the field of energy or to invest in bilateral and regional commerce, without or outside the context of the FTA. I see good possibilities in using the bilateral relations of the past ten years as a basis.”
Both Plan Colombia, the joint efforts to battle Colombian drug production and trafficking, and the Free Trade Agreement are due to undergo radical changes because of the change of policy of the new U.S. administration and the global economic crisis that forces the U.S. to cut spending.