Photo: US/Colombia Trade Agreement
President Obama signed a US/Colombia trade agreement on Friday after seven years of legislative effort.
US Ambassador Michael McKinley said that although Obama would sign the bill “there are issues like the protection of intellectual property, customs, arbitration” that could delay the trade pact between seven and 18 months to take effect.
Also, “the concern remains for the rights of unionists,” McKinley said.
Colombia’s ambassador to Washington, Gabriel Silva, told economic newspaper Portafolio that domestic legislative processes will delay the implementation of the FTA, including the approval of pre-requisite laws, decrees, and resolutions.
According to the newspaper’ editorial, “there is still a long road ahead which includes the making adequate of rules of both countries that was approved in the text of the deal, and logically, that the businesses can prepare themselves to make use of the advantages free trade offers.”
The newspaper estimates that the FTA needs at least a year to take effect.