In recent years, the Colombian government has signed FTAs with several countries, including the USA (implemented in May 2012), China, Canada (signed in 2008, and took effect in August 2011), the EU. It is negotiating with Israel (first round of talks was held in January 2012), Korea (since 2009), is exploring the possibility of an FTA with Costa Rica, and has concluded a joint study on an FTA with the Japanese government. Labour and human rights organizations in Canada and the US have raised concerns and opposition to FTAs with Colombia due to the deadly repression and human rights violations against Colombian trade unionists, labour organisers, Indigenous Peoples and other communities there. Such concerns have delayed the ratification of these agreements. Within Colombia, a national coalition against free trade agreements, RECALCA, has warned that these agreements further deepen the privatization and corporate control over Colombian people’s lives and the country’s natural resources. Colombian farmers have opposed the deal because of concerns of increased unfair competition with US. transnational agribusiness and the devastation this will cause local producers. RECALCA has also warned that a proposed FTA with Korea could badly impact Colombia’s auto sector with resulting job losses.
last update: May 2012
Nationwide agricultural strikes are continuing in Colombia after more than a week of ongoing roadblocks, marches and clashes with the police.
Representatives of Colombian farmers’ groups and government ministers say they have not yet been able to reach a deal to end a 10-day strike.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos says his government will enter into negotiations with agricultural workers as their strike enters its ninth day.
As Colombian peasants ended their eighth day of an anti-free trade agreement strike last night by forcing President Juan Manuel Santos to the negotiating table, thousands of protesters banging pots and pans filled the main plaza of the capital Bogota in solidarity.
Three of Colombia’s most powerful unions take action on August 19 and 20, as the spreading anger against the Colombian government reaches a new stage.
The Panamanian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Ricardo Quijano said that Panama has a special interest in signing free trade agreements with Colombia and Mexico to enter the Pacific Alliance not as observers, but as a full member.
Colombia and Panama started the seventh round of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) on May 28 and talks will last for four days, according to Panama’s Trade and Industry Ministry.
The signing tomorrow of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Colombia and South Korea raised in Bogotá the rejection of the unions, which see it as an attack on the industry and the productive and agriculture sector.
One of the most popular and outspoken Colombian senators on Tuesday rebuked the pending free trade agreement (FTA) between Colombia and South Korea on the grounds that it undermines industrial potential.
Officials from Costa Rica and Colombia on Monday began a fourth round of free-trade negotiations that are expected to address the most sensitive issues of market access, officials said.