The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) submitted written comments to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) in response to a formal request to the public for opinions on the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement, also known as the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). In this letter, WOLA will re-iterate concerns about the U.S.-Colombia FTA.
Colombia is embroiled in a four decades old internal armed conflict due to unequal resource distribution, inequality, racism, under-development, among other causes. Government institutions are weak, impunity of public and private leaders, and drug trafficking that is an ever present threat to security. The points that WOLA offers in this letter must be seen within this larger context, not as isolated or disparate issues. While there have been modest security and other improvements in Colombia for some cities and segments of the population, serious human rights violations continue in the rural farming communities, trade sectors and indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities. That these violations continue in Colombia makes WOLA question the viability of a free trade agreement at this time.
Please click here to read WOLA's letter to the USTR.