US-Colombia

On 27 February 2006, the United States and Colombia reached a Trade Promotion Agreement whose negative impacts were immediately subjected to severe criticism by civil society. The perks granted to the US by the new FTA, especially concerning agriculture and national treatment, rapidly became public knowledge.

One controversial provision concerned quotas on “special” agricultural products that are allowed to enter Colombia in limited quantities without tariffs from the very first year of the FTA; these quotas were increased at the signing of the agreement. Furthermore, the US insisted on Colombia’s acceptance of beef from cows over 30 months, a latent animal and human health risk due to the possible entry of “mad cow” infected animals.

The agreement was approved by the Colombian Congress over the opposition of the Polo Democrático Alternativo and the Colombian Liberal Party. The U.S. Congress later emerged as its chief opponent, rejecting the treaty after the Democratic Party won majorities in both houses and adopted a more aggressive stance on Bush administration policies.

The Democrats argued that the Uribe government had not done enough to curtail the paramilitaries’ crimes against humanity. Colombia, they said, should first put an end to violence against trade unionists and peasants, and indict politicians implicated in the “paragate” scandal (collusion with the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces and with drug trafficking mafias).

A vote on the deal was put off in April 2008 after President Bush sent the corresponding bill to Congress despite a recommendation against this move on the part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Pelosi sought a change to the House rules to prevent the fast-track timetable from kicking in.

In Colombia, opposition has remained firm in recent years, with various sectors mobilizing heavily to resist the FTA. The most recent large-scale mobilization was the “Minga,” in which indigenous people from all over the country traveled thousands of kilometers to Bogotá to reject the FTA, among other demands. Many other sectors of Colombian society signed on to the indigenous mobilization.

Despite the continuing resistance, the Colombian government benefitting from an improved image under President Santos (even though the policies and problems of the Uribe administration persist) won the approval for its FTA with the United States from the US Congress on 10 October 2011. It entered into force on 15 May 2012. Putting this FTA into motion required the approval of more than 15 regulations in the form of laws or decrees to bring Colombia legislation into line with the FTA on issues such as intellectual property, safeguards and tariffs.

last update: May 2012


    Articles

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  • 13-Apr-2016 Amigos de la Tierra Al descubierto: Demandan a Colombia por $16.500 millones de dólares al amparo del TLC con EEUU, por crear el Parque Nacional Yaigoji Apaporis
    Por medio de documentos publicados recientemente por el gobierno colombiano se develó la intención de tres empresas mineras de demandar al país por un monto que podría alcanzar los 16.500 millones de dólares.
  • 30-Mar-2016 RECALCA Tres mineras exigen a Colombia indemnización por US$16.500 millones por violar TLC con EE.UU.
    El caso fue dado a conocer por el sitio Primera Página. ”Se trata de Cosigo, de su filial en Colombia y de Tobie Mining and Energy, que decidieron llevar a Colombia bajo una demanda de arbitraje ante principal órgano jurídico central del sistema de las Naciones Unidas en el ámbito del derecho mercantil internacional (que preside Colombia)”.
  • 16-Mar-2016 El Espectador Carlos Slim demandaría a Colombia por incumplimiento de TLC
    El reclamo se enmarca en el conflicto que hay por bienes del Estado, contratados desde 1994.
  • 16-Feb-2016 Portafolio Colombia: Por cuenta de TLC entrarán 65.972 toneladas de arroz
    Un total de 65.972 toneladas de arroz entrarán durante este primer semestre, como resultado de la subasta que da el derecho a importar a Colombia este cereal estadounidense, con cero arancel.
  • 11-Feb-2016 Colombia Reports US-Colombia trade down 19% since free trade deal
    Instead of increasing, trade between the United States and Colombia dropped 19% following the implementation of a controversial free trade agreement between the two countries.
  • 29-Sep-2015 Portafolio EE. UU. exporta más arroz a Colombia. ¿Por qué?
    El cupo cercano a 90 mil toneladas del grano, libre de arancel, prácticamente se cumplió entre enero y abril, estimándose que al finalizar el 2015 el volumen alcance las 285 mil toneladas.
  • 28-Sep-2015 HSB Noticias Colombia, en franca desventaja en el TLC con EE.UU
    “Desde el inicio de este gran debate se había puesto presente que el propósito de crear una zona de libre comercio entre Colombia y Estados Unidos resultaba inicialmente desigual, desnivelado o desequilibrado, dadas las evidentes asimetrías comerciales que caracterizaban el intercambio bilateral”
  • 21-Aug-2015 ALAI Colombia - La necesidad de reformas constitucionales para proteger el agro nacional
    La creciente internacionalización de la economía colombiana, como consecuencia de la firma del Tratado de Libre Comercio (TLC) con Estados Unidos, está generando profunda preocupación entre los distintos actores del sector agropecuario.
  • 14-Aug-2015 Portafolio Colombia: Estados Unidos se toma la demanda nacional de maíz
    Desplaza a Argentina y Brasil, sus más serios competidores. La cuota permitida en el TLC ya se cumplió.
  • 15-Jul-2015 Portafolio Colombia: La guerra del maíz
    En Colombia, la Federación Nacional de Avicultores (Fenavi) pretende replicar la historia mexicana a través de la guerra del maíz nacional. Fenavi solicita un cupo de importación sin aranceles de 1,1 millones de toneladas de maíz amarillo estadounidense, equivalente a la producción anual de nuestro país.
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    Links

  • RECALCA
    Red Colombiana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio y el ALCA (Colombian Action Network Against Free Trade and the FTAA)