23 September 2005
Colombian Unions Worried about Free Trade with the US
Bogota, Sep 23 (Prensa Latina) The 12th negotiation round of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru with the US is winding up Friday in Cartagena with optimism and worries about Andean labor unions and politicians.
Negotiating team members from Colombia and Peru say 85 percent of the FTA is already negotiated, but representatives from Andean agricultural unions said the other 15 percent is more important than that the 85.
Agricultural topics, copyrights in medicine, health and phytosanitary measures are the main issues of the FTA for Colombians, Ecuadorians and Peruvians.
The US delegation’s ultimatum states the FTA should be signed at the latest on November 20, or otherwise it will be held over until the end of the 2006 electoral processes in Andean countries.
While governments from Colombia and Peru showed their willingness to end talks in October, Ecuador thinks it should go no faster, since there are still more burning issues define.
The 54 Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Bolivian and Colombian congressmen warned their peoples of the dangers threatening them if they sign the FTA with the US.
With the FTA, United States aims to overtake the World Trade Organization, deepen neoliberal reforms and worsen underdevelopment and poverty.