May 15th marks the one-year anniversary of the implementation of the U.S.–Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Over the past 12 months, a growing number of businesses in both countries have taken action to capitalize on the expanded opportunities for the free flow of products, services, and ideas created by the trade pact.
Although it is still early for a comprehensive assessment of the evolving impact of the U.S.–Colombia FTA, one point is clear: The pact has been yielding positive outcomes in terms of actual trade and investment activities. Proving that big labor was big-time wrong on free trade with Colombia, the trade pact has generated “net economic gains for both economies.”
Beyond that, and more importantly, the pact has contributed to ensuring Colombia’s stride toward greater economic freedom. As documented in The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, Colombia has achieved five consecutive years of advancing economic freedom.
Turning the global economic crisis into an opportunity to upgrade its economic system, the country has undertaken wide-ranging reforms to address structural weaknesses and improve competitiveness, notably in the context of various free trade pacts with partners like the U.S., Canada, and Chile. With an impressive growth rate of 6 percent last year, Colombia remains one of the few dynamically growing economies in the Western hemisphere.
Given Colombia’s impressive record of progress, Representative Ed Royce (R–CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, strongly supported Colombia’s entry into the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In an April letter to the White House, addressed to then-Deputy National Security Advisor for Economic Affairs Michael Froman, Chairman Royce emphasized.
[Colombia’s] continuing economic strength, its commitment to free market principals and the rule of law, and its experience with its successful transition from a scarcely functioning narco-state to a vibrant and prosperous economy.
Indeed, the U.S.–Colombia FTA has helped guide Colombia toward a brighter economic future.