Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Colombia FTA imminent

Apparently the Colombia FTA is imminent.  From the AP:

The U.S. and Colombia are expected to announce Wednesday a deal on a key free trade pact, three people close to the agreement said, ending a years-long stalemate over the highly-coveted pact.
An agreement appeared to come together following weeks of intense negotiations in Washington and Bogota, focused in part on Colombia strengthening its protection of unions and labor leaders.

I take this to mean that whatever was negotiated will lead to a favorable vote in the U.S. Congress.  My main conclusion is that there will be relatively few significant effects.  This will have no effect on Hugo Chávez, no effect on the FARC or terrorism more broadly, will likely not boost either economy significantly, and will not strongly affect the U.S. role in the region.  By virtue of being blocked by congressional Democrats, the FTA has taken on exaggerated importance.  Until Republicans held up the ATPDEA, Colombia had access to U.S. markets already anyway for many key exports.


Vicente Duque 12:48 PM  

This Free Trade Agreement between USA and Colombia is good for most people involved, but there are a few losers in Agriculture inside Colombia and inside the USA .... A Free Trade Agreement without victims is impossible.

Those that produce maize, wheat, barley, oats, corns, all cereals, perhaps potatoes inside Colombia will be harmed - Those that produce fruits, flowers and vegetables in the USA will be shaken ... or at least challenged. There are going to appear many new fruit and vegetable delicatessen for the American Consumer.. .. or at least with better prices ....

I have seen "experts" saying on Television that the Colombian Agriculturists and Enterprises are stronger and a harder competition than others that the USA has experienced in Central America and Mexico.

This is not because of Laziness of Mexicans or Central Americans, but because of better environmental conditions for the "Fruit and Vegetable Delicacies" in Colombia : Available Pure Water in big quantities, Rains, more sunshine, protection against storms and tornadoes, many stable microclimates, biodiversities, etc ...

Slave Revolt,  8:58 PM  

Don't believe the hype.

What are the benefits, for example, of NAFTA?

Agriculture can be produced locally, more healthfully and sustainablly. Shipping food huge distances, as well as the 'externalities' that are not dealt with on the profit-taking point of exchange--i.e., the huge ecological destruction and costs of pollution--make this supposed 'free-trade' agreement more of an investors rights agreement.

The term 'free' has this magical effect of cutting off critical analysis.

The publics of these countries, of course, are subjected to mostly one-sided propaganda lauding the incredible benefits of these schemes--as it are the little people that suffer the harm. Well, they are 'losers' anyway, not important.

Tambopaxi 6:38 AM  

To SR's points, I would add that NAFTA's been a disaster for the Mexican small farm sector. Mexican small farmers simply couldn't compete with the heavily subsidized American ag conglomerates, and that collapse of small farmers contributed in good part to illegal immigration to the U.S. I shouldn't be surprised if similar things aren't happening under the CAFTA, to the south.

Correa was right to refuse the TLC for Ecuador, insofar as the ag sector is concerned, and Colombia would be well advised to consider potential negative impacts on its small farmers, assuming the GOC cares about them. (Non-ag trade is another matter; the benefits may be there, but I leave it to someone else to cite figures on this.)

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