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In recent years, the Colombian government has signed FTAs with several countries, including the USA (implemented in May 2012), China, Canada (signed in 2008, and took effect in August 2011), the EU. It is negotiating with Israel (first round of talks was held in January 2012), Korea (since 2009), is exploring the possibility of an FTA with Costa Rica, and has concluded a joint study on an FTA with the Japanese government. Labour and human rights organizations in Canada and the US have raised concerns and opposition to FTAs with Colombia due to the deadly repression and human rights violations against Colombian trade unionists, labour organisers, Indigenous Peoples and other communities there. Such concerns have delayed the ratification of these agreements. Within Colombia, a national coalition against free trade agreements, RECALCA, has warned that these agreements further deepen the privatization and corporate control over Colombian people’s lives and the country’s natural resources. Colombian farmers have opposed the deal because of concerns of increased unfair competition with US. transnational agribusiness and the devastation this will cause local producers. RECALCA has also warned that a proposed FTA with Korea could badly impact Colombia’s auto sector with resulting job losses.

last update: May 2012

Photo: Agencia Prensa Rural

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The impacts of FTAs on Colombian workers
Summary of the impacts of FTAs, analyzed by the FTA Observatory
Colombian campesinos: change the constitution, end ’free trade’
“We hold free trade agreements responsible for the bankruptcy of small producers, and we want them renegotiated”
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Colombia and Japan will begin the 12th round of negotiations for Economic Partnership Agreement on Tuesday, Colombian Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism announced on Monday.
China, Colombia launch free trade talks
China and Colombia have agreed to conduct a feasibility study on an FTA.
Colombian Congress approves FTA with South Korea
The objections to Colombia’s trade deal with Seoul, which should be approved by the Executive, came from both the left-wing and the right-wing opposition, as well as part of the business sector.
Colombia: FTA negotiations with Japan progresses
The eighth round of negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement between Colombia and Japan took place last week in Bogotá.
Colombia: FTA negotiations with Japan continue
The seventh round of Economic Partnership Agreement talks, which aim at achieving an FTA between Colombia and Japan by 2015, are taking place this week in the Japanese capital.
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The United Kingdom’s Parliament was expected to ratify an international investment treaty with Colombia Thursday that critics claim jeopardizes Colombian reform attempts and the future of the South American nation’s ongoing peace process with the FARC rebel group, reported the The Guardian newspaper.
Colombia Congress rejects free trade deal with South Korea
Colombia’s Congress on Tuesday voted against a signed free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea following disappointing results of a similar deal with the United States.