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
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.
China and Colombia begin their first steps toward a free trade agreement as well as sign several other trade agreements further promoting trade between the two countries.
Workers from Colombia’s Sintrametal metalworkers union are planning strikes and blockades to call on the government to refrain from signing the free trade agreement being negotiated with Turkey.
La intención gubernamental era finalizar la negociación comercial con Corea, el principal aliado estratégico de Colombia en Asia, meta que al parecer se frustró por razones estratégicas y técnicas.
The Minga will continue. But if it loses its essence, it risks becoming a form of resistance that is considered acceptable to power.
In the Cauca region, a twelve-thousand strong Indigenous and Popular Minga (or Assembly) was held in opposition to the militarization of Indigenous, Afro-Colombian and peasant communities/territories. The Assembly also declared it’s firm opposition to the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with Canada, U.S. and the European Union.
We do not accept Free Trade Agreements like the ones negotiated behind closed doors with the United States, Canada, the European Union, the European Association of Free Trade, or any other deal that looks to displace us of our rights, our culture, our knowledge and our territory. We want treaties between peoples, for the people, not treaties of the patrons against the people and against Mother Earth.