Colombian President Gustavo Petro He said, this Wednesday, August 16th, that It will seek to renegotiate the free trade agreement with the United Statesthe main destination for the country’s exports.
During a meeting with coffee producers, the president confirmed that the agreement, which has been in force for 11 years, prevents the cultivation of local varieties of corn.
“The Free Trade Agreement with the United States prohibits it (…) and I want to publicly announce that its renegotiation beginsThe president predicted without elaborating.
His announcement was warmly welcomed by the farmers gathered in the municipality of Pitalito (South).
During the 2022 presidential campaign, Colombia’s first left-winger to power proposed amending the free trade agreement to “protect national agriculture” from US products that come at rock-bottom prices.
The president explained, “We import almost all of our corn from the United States and Canada. If I wanted to exchange that corn for Colombian corn, I would have another 1.2 million jobs, wealth.”
His opponents warned that amending the agreements to include new tariffs on imports would mean a similar response from the US government and could affect the country’s economic “stability”.
The free trade agreement, which has been in effect since May 15, 2012, has made the United States the main buyer of goods and services exported by Colombia and one of the largest investors in the country, according to data from the South American country’s Trade Ministry.
Colombia’s exports to the United States reached $14,838 million in 2022, mostly oil, coal and other mining products, according to the US-Colombia Chamber of Commerce.
“We want to get out of (mining) extraction, it doesn’t seem to us that the future of Colombia exists (…) We have to go back to the world of production and work,” the president added.
Colombia has 16 trade agreements in place with 62 countries. Petro, who came to power promising an ambitious series of social reforms, met US President Joe Biden for the first time in mid-April at the White House.
France Press agency