U.S. accelerates multiple FTAs
Colombian Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Sergio Díaz-Granados, said the move was a major boost for the country.
"This is a very important message that reaffirms the commitment of the U.S. Government with Colombia. It gives us confidence that by the end of this year we will have a free trade, " he said.
Díaz-Granados added that the announcement of trade preference extensions under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) was another piece of good news.
The FTA progress follows a difficult year when the U.S. Congress decided not to renew the ATPDEA in February, at an estimated cost to Colombian exporters of US$16 million per month in new tariffs.
The agreement will initially go to the House Committee on Ways & Means before a vote in Congress, and if approved it will then pass to the Senate's finance committee who will scrutinize the assistance program. House of Representatives President John Boehner expects the agreement could be ready by the middle of the month.