US – Colombia Free Trade Agreement to be implemented in May


President Santos and President Obama at the Summit of the Americas

Despite a rocky start at the Summit of the Americas for President Obama (and talk of a widespread boycott of the Summit next year by a dozen countries), it looks like the deal brokered between Obama and Santos for a free trade agreement between Colombia and the United States will be implemented early.  The agreement which was first signed in October of 2011 will begin in May.

This agreement will reduce the tarifs on 80% of all imported Colombian goods.   (No, not cocaine – despite talks of legalization in multiple latin american countries.)  These goods include the huge floral industry (if you’ve bought flowers recently – they were probably from Colombia), along with other notable exports such as fruits (bananas, tropical fruits), gems (Colombia is home to the world’s largest supply of emeralds, ladies..), their famously rich coffee, fossil fuels and other minerals.

In return the US will be exporting such goods as wheat, sorgham and other agricultural products in additional to more specialized items such as aviation parts.

Now if only they would make a special ‘fast pass’ lane in Customs for medical travellers returning to the USA as part of similar trade efforts.

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