News from the USTR: US, Colombia Hold Inaugural Meeting on TPA

The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced that officials from the United States and Colombia convened the inaugural meeting of the Labor Affairs Council (LAC) under the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) on June 4 and 5. During the two-day meeting, officials reviewed implementation of the Labor Chapter of the U.S.-Colombia TPA. They also discussed the labor obligations of the agreement and progress under the Colombian Action Plan Related to Labor Rights. The Council further discussed areas of technical cooperation and capacity building.

Read their official Joint Statement here.

About the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement:
The United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (TPA) entered into force on May 15, 2012. According to the USTR, with the implementation of the TPA, over 80 percent of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia will become duty free immediately, with remaining tariffs phased out over 10 years. The USTR projects that the TPA will support more American jobs, increase U.S. exports, and enhance U.S. competitiveness. Read an overview here.

The Cartagena Incident: Affirming U.S. success

by Michael R. Czinkota and Ireene Leoncio *

During the past days emotions have been running high about the U.S. Secret Service alliance with ladies of the night in Colombia. An ‘incident’ has mushroomed into a self-inflicted ‘policy debacle’. Some policy makers, in describing this apparent scurge of mankind, appeared to recommend firing everyone who ever had lust in their hearts. The Senate majority leader’s solution is to hire many more women for the Service. Others suggest that protocols and training for protective details need to be tightened; even the possible use of the ‘honey trap’ strategy is suggested by some. A merchant seaman with great experience writes in an editorial that the lesson learned should be to ‘always pay your bill’! President Obama, who was the object of all the protection, used the annual White House correspondents dinner to crack jokes about the affair. I find all the public anxiety vastly misplaced, and the event’s effect on the U.S. reputation misinterpreted […]

To read the entire article, click here.

Professor Michael R. Czinkota teaches International Business at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He can be reached at Ireene Leoncio is a graduate student from the Philippines at Georgetown University and serves as President of the Graduate International Student Association.

Benefits of the U.S. – Colombian Trade Promotion Agreement

Source: USTR

The U.S. – Colombia trade agreement is crucial in maintaining the U.S. share of this important market. It plays an integral part of the President’s efforts to increase opportunities for U.S. businesses, farmers, ranchers, and workers through improved access for their products and services in foreign markets. The Agreement supports the President’s National Export Initiative goal of doubling of U.S. exports. It will also enhance the competitiveness of both small and large U.S. businesses in Colombia’s growing economy.

In hopes of a greater number of U.S. exports, more American jobs, and enhanced U.S. competitiveness the agreement allows for significant barriers to U.S. goods entering Colombia’s market to be removed. In order to do so, it requires that there be expanded access to services market, greater protection for intellectual property rights, commitments to protect labor rights, commitments to protect the environment, fair and open government procurement, and a level playing field for U.S. investors.

To read more about the benefits associated with the U.S.-Colombian Trade Promotion Agreement, click here.