Washington, DC – Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) issued the following statements today after President Obama and Colombian President Santos announced that the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement would enter into force on May 15, 2012. The presidents’ announcement today in Cartagena, Colombia, comes eight years after the United States and Colombia began negotiating the agreement – in that same city – and nearly five-and-a-half years after the agreement was signed:
Chairman Camp stated: “Today’s announcement is cause for celebration. During the half-decade of political struggles over the Colombia trade agreement, many doubted that we would ever reach this day. One year ago, I led a bipartisan Congressional delegation to Colombia to express to President Santos our strong support for this agreement. Several months later, the U.S. Administration sent the agreement to Congress for approval, and Congress passed the implementing bill by a huge margin. Now the agreement is set to enter into force in one month. I appreciate the significant effort that the administrations of both Presidents Obama and Santos invested in ensuring prompt implementation of the agreement after we approved it in October.
“Now we are poised to reap the substantial benefits that the Colombia trade agreement unlocks. The U.S. International Trade Commission has estimated that the agreement will increase U.S. exports by $1.1 billion and increase U.S. GDP by $2.5 billion. That means substantial U.S. job creation, which we so greatly need in this difficult economy. Yet more is needed. I look forward to continuing to work with my Congressional colleagues and with the Administration, pressing for an ambitious agenda of trade and investment expansion.”
Chairman Brady added: “This announcement is very good news for U.S. workers, farmers, manufacturers, and service exporters. We can now begin to recapture export market share that we lost in Colombia during the years that the trade agreement was not in force. Now that we are ‘back on the field’ in Colombia and Korea, I look forward to rapid implementation of the Panama trade agreement, as well.”