The United States Senate took a major step towards passing the free trade agreement (FTA) with Colombia Thursday by approving a federal program called the Trade Adjustment Act (TAA), a controversial pro-labor action plan attached to the agreement, Caracol Radio reported.
For the Democratic majority in the Senate, the TAA was a crucial addition to the pending FTAs with Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
According to Democratic Senator Max Baucus, the favorable Senate vote on the TAA “is a victory for American workers and key to our efforts to pass free trade agreements.”
However, the TAA will now be submitted for approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, where the Republican Party holds the majority. Republicans have generally opposed the federal program, particularly in light of the recent budget shortcomings.
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos nonetheless expressed his confidence Wednesday that the U.S.-Colombia FTA will be ratified by the end of September.