For Immediate Release: May 27, 2011
Contact: Lorri Crowley (202) 482-3809
Commerce Trade Official Highlights Benefits of Trade Promotion Agreement with Colombia
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance (MAC) Michael Camuñez completed a three-day trip to Colombia today. Camuñez built upon the positive momentum in U.S.-Colombia relations given the prospect of passage of the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) this year, and further supported U.S. trade and market access objectives.
“Colombia is a critical partner and an essential market for the United States. We export more to Colombia than to Turkey, Spain, Russia, Indonesia and other key emerging markets,” said Camunez.
Camuñez travelled to Bogotá, Barranquilla, and Medellín, Colombia, to reinforce the strategic importance of the U.S.-Colombia commercial relationship as Colombia continues its upward trend of growth and development and recasts its image in the global economy.
While in Bogotá, Camuñez met with several high-level Colombian officials, including Presidential Senior Advisor Catalina Crane, Minister of Trade Sergio Diaz-Granados, and Vice President Angelino Garzon, to discuss the CTPA and other bilateral trade initiatives.
“The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement will provide significant economic and commercial benefits for both our countries,” Camunez said. “I want to help ensure that U.S. exporters will be able to enjoy these substantial benefits, as we recognize that the Colombian Government has already negotiated trade agreements with some of our toughest competitors.”
Camuñez also met with several leaders from industry and labor unions and confederations, as well as the Deputy Attorney General of Colombia, to better understand the state of labor conditions in Colombia and what measures are being undertaken to strengthen and protect workers’ rights.
During a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce and the Council of American Companies, Camuñez highlighted the benefits of our bilateral trade and also announced the launch of two new tools for U.S. companies doing business in Colombia—a guide to arbitration and an IPR toolkit.
“These tools will help ensure that U.S businesses are competitive in the Colombian market by providing them with the knowledge to make sound business decisions and protect and enforce their rights,” Camunez said.
Improved security and economic reforms have made Colombia an attractive market for U.S. exporters of goods and services. U.S.-Colombia bilateral trade reached record levels in 2010, with U.S. exports at $12 billion, an increase of 26% compared to 2009.
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