Six U.S. Congressmen on an official visit to Bogota said Tuesday they think that the free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia will be ratified by July.
The Democratic and Republican Congressmen were in the Colombian capital to voice their support for the free trade pact that according to a timeline agreed between U.S. President Barack Obama and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will be presented before congress within days.
“We have had some very productive discussions about the way forward, about the future, because we want the FTA to be approved by the U.S. this summer,” Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) told Spanish press agency EFE after meeting with Santos.
Representative Steny Hoyer (D-MD) called the meeting with the Colombian President “productive and informative” and stressed that “under the leadership of President Santos” and his predecessor Alvaro Uribe “we have seen greast progress in Colombia.”
The White House will present the U.S.-Colombia FTA before Congress after Colombia has taken concrete steps to guarantee improvement in the protection of labor rights workers and the diminishing of impunity for those guilty of killing unionists.
“We believe that this action plan will increase the respect for rights and opportunities. It is a very important step forwards,” said Hoyer.
Santos thanked the Washington Congressmen and told press that “all are in favor” of the free trade pact.
The pact was signed by the governments of both countries in 2006, but never made it to Congress over concerns about the human and labor rights situation in Colombia.