Colombia will seek to renegotiate the free trade deal signed with the US in 2012, which is harming output and jobs, president Gustavo Petro said.
(Bloomberg) — Colombia will seek to renegotiate the free trade deal signed with the US in 2012, which is harming output and jobs, president Gustavo Petro said.
The Andean nation could create 1.2 million jobs if it starts to produce all the corn it is currently importing, but the existing trade agreement with the US doesn’t allow this, he told coffee growers during an event in Huila province on Wednesday.
“I want to publicly announce its renegotiation will begin,” Petro said, without specifying how this would be possible. The original deal had to be approved by congress in both nations.
While most South American nations now do more business with China, for Colombia the US remains the top trading partner. Last year, Colombia sold a quarter of its $57 billion in exports to the US. The Colombian population resident in the US also generates strong cultural ties and remittance flows.
Petro visited the White House as recently as April, during which he asked President Joe Biden for more military aid to fight cocaine smuggling.
READ: Colombia Asks Biden for More Aid to Fight Cocaine Smuggling
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