Washington DC – The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today welcomed remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). During a joint press conference with Colombian Vice President Angelino Garzón today, Secretary Clinton announced the Administration’s intention to send the agreement to Congress this year once negotiations have concluded and both governments have agreed upon text clarifying and addressing outstanding concerns.
“Secretary Clinton’s remarks represent the clearest signal the Administration has sent with respect to its intentions to move the Colombia agreement forward in a specific time frame,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “On the heels of President Obama’s State of the Union address during which he restated his commitment to this agreement, we view today’s announcement as a signal that the Administration is serious about continuing to boost economic growth and support American jobs by advancing the U.S. trade agenda.”
“The Colombian economy is dynamic and ever-growing, and is an important market for U.S. goods and services. Without a trade agreement in place, the U.S. has already seen its market share decline in key sectors, specifically agriculture – an industry in which we compete head on with Latin American, Canadian and European exporters,” said NFTC Vice President for Regional Trade Issues Chuck Dittrich. “Beyond being an important market in Latin America, Colombia has long been an vital ally in the region, and approval of the agreement within a clearly defined time frame will strengthen our diplomatic partnership.”
“The NFTC has advocated for the agreement before and since it was signed in November 2006, and we are very pleased that the Administration is prepared to move forward this year,” Reinsch concluded.
Video of today’s press conference can be found on the State Department’s website at http://www.state.gov/video/. The Secretary’s remarks regarding timing for submitting the Colombia FTA to Congress begin at the 21:54 minute mark.
About the NFTC
The National Foreign Trade Council (www.nftc.org) is a leading business organization advocating an open, rules-based global trading system. Founded in 1914 by a broad-based group of American companies, the NFTC now serves hundreds of member companies through its offices in Washington and New York.
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