Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Trade disunion

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on February 18, 2011

by The Economist, February 17th, 2011.

Sometimes the way the United States behaves in Latin America seems calculated to oblige its friends to seek other allies. Take Colombia, the most pro-American country in the region over the past decade. Not only has the United States Congress failed to ratify a free-trade agreement signed in 2006, but this month it failed to renew trade preferences dating from the 1990s under which more than half of Colombia’s exports enter tariff-free.

The failure to renew the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) was caused by a domestic political squabble, and may soon be rectified. But Colombia is getting fed up with American disdain. Its new president, Juan Manuel Santos, says that if the trade agreement is not ratified this year, “we will not keep insisting.” The United States is Colombia’s biggest trade partner. Mr Santos hopes the agreement will boost investment. But the ATPDEA, a tool in the American drug war, already helps Colombian exporters, so their American counterparts have more to gain from ratifying the trade agreement. (continue reading… )

 

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