A U.S. trade representative told Congress more work on labor rights if Colombia wants its free trade agreement finalized.
Labor rights, violence against trade unionists, and the prosecution of such violence are the main concerns U.S. officials said Colombia needs to improve in order for Congress to enact the proposed FTA.
In front of the Subcommittee on Trade of the House of Representatives trade representative Miriam Sapiro said, “We understand that the Santos administration shares our concerns and we are encouraged by recent actions. But more is needed.”
“We want to be in a position where we can advance this agreement. I am optimistic that we will get there and we will get there in the near future,” said the trade official in a report from Reuters.
The trade representative will meet with senior Colombian officials late Thursday to discuss the concerns of the administration.
In recent weeks, Obama administration officials have said they are committed to winning approval of all three (South Korea, Panama, Colombia) agreements but have frustrated Republicans and some senior Democrats by refusing to set out a firm timeline for action on the Latin American pacts, reported Reuters Thursday.