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US FTA tricks Colombia farmers

US FTA Tricks Colombia Farmers

Bogota, May 17 2006 (Prensa Latina) — Colombian poultry farmers declared Wednesday the free trade agreement with the US has turned out to be “only words”, as the terms initially agreed on for the farming sector have been changed.

Jorge Enrique Bedoya, president of the National Poultry Farmers’ Federation (FENAVI), told press the negotiation was reopened when inconsistencies in the English text were found, which results in even more disadvantages for them.

He affirmed that when a Colombian top-level delegation travelled to Washington last week to supposedly resolve the contradictions, they instead agreed to import aged US hens to Colombia. US poultry farmers regard those hens as waste, since they are sterile, he noted.

To prevent that the poor negotiation and Washington inflexibility over the differences in the texts influence the May 28 elections, the government agreed to postpone signing the agreement until August.

Most Colombians and local experts agree the agreement is risky for the national economy, mainly for the farming sector.

 source: Prensa Latina