United States President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union speech on Wednesday that his administration seeks to “strengthen trade relations” with Colombia, without explicitly mentioning a free trade pact.
“We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are. If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores. But realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so our trading partners play by the rules. And that’s why we’ll continue to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens global markets, and why we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea and Panama and Colombia,” Obama said in a State of the Union speech focused mostly on the U.S. economy.
Colombia is waiting for the U.S. Congress to ratify a free trade pact agreed by Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and former U.S. President George W. Bush.
Earlier this month, Carolina Barco, Colombia’s ambassador to Washington, said that she hoped the pact would be ratified this year, but the U.S. ambassador to Bogota, William Brownfield, then stated that this was unlikely.