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U.S., Colombia Trade Agreement

The United States - Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, or C-T-P-A, will eliminate tariffs and other barriers to trade. Both the U.S. and Colombian congresses must approve the accord for it to take effect.

If approved, the C-T-P-A will make duty-free over eighty percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia and many U.S. farm exports. The agreement will also remove barriers to U.S. service providers doing business in Colombia. It will also provide a predictable legal framework for U.S. investors and protect their intellectual property rights. And it will provide for effective enforcement of Colombian labor and environmental laws.

Deputy U.S. Trade Representative John Veroneau said the accord marks "an important milestone." "The agreement," he said, "will benefit consumers, create jobs, generate new export opportunities, and provide enhanced stability and security across the Andean region."

Many products from Colombia already enter the U.S. market duty-free under the Andean Trade Preference Act, which expires at the end of this year. The C-T-P-A will help Colombia lock in duty-free treatment of Colombian goods.

Colombian Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Jorge Humberto Botero also hailed the trade pact. "The Free Trade Agreement," he said, "will create permanent channels so that our products could compete in the U.S. market, therefore creating more revenue and jobs for millions of Colombians."

The agreement, said Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Veroneau, will provide Colombia "permanent access to the U.S. market, which will aid in sustaining real growth, creating more jobs, and attracting new investment."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.