Colombia’s Vice President-elect Angelino Garzon on Friday criticized the United States, saying that the country was in “ethical and moral debt to the government of Colombia” over the long-delayed free trade agreement (FTA).
According to El Espectador, the former Colombian governor and incoming vice president said that the United States government is in “ethical and moral debt to the Colombian government and population on the topic of the free trade agreement.”
“Every day that approval of the FTA is delayed is a negative for the Colombian population, negative for Colombian democracy, and unfortunately a triumph of illegal armed groups,” said Garzon.
In their call, Obama and Santos “discussed their shared desire to deepen the strong relationship between the United States and Colombia across a wide range of bilateral, hemispheric, and global issues,” the White House said in a statement.
Also on Friday, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez gave Colombia further guarantees that the pending free trade agreement (FTA) will be passed by the U.S. Congress.
“The Obama administration understands the importance of ratifying the deal, and is confident it will be,” Sanchez said from Bogota, explaining that “FTAs always generate much debate [in U.S. Congress]. That is what happened in the case with the Chilean FTA, which took nine years to approve. We need to let the discussion continue.”