The best of the free trade agreement should come with the United States

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We celebrate nine years since the Colombia-US Free Trade Agreement. We can say that we are celebrating the progress in bilateral relations in these years in trade and investment, but I think it is much more than that because the best is yet to come, as we discussed this week in a discussion organized by AmCham Colombia.

In these nine years, a lot has happened since the slowdown in global trade, trade confrontations between the United States, China and the European Union, trends toward global protectionism, and more recently, the pandemic. Fortunately, figures earlier this year show that global trade has recovered from the epidemic slowdown and is back to 2018 levels.

This improvement is good news because it is a combination of trade hindered by the epidemic and growing global demand, particularly from the United States, on the topic at hand, which is rapidly recovering from the effects of the epidemic and regaining its global leadership. growth. The growth outlook is also good, with positive impacts on Colombia’s terms of trade and demand for Colombian products and services.

Now more than ever, our key trading partner’s good growth prospects oblige us to strategically prioritize the products we can offer from the public and private sectors in order to take full advantage of the commercial door opened for us by the FTA 9 years ago. . Today the United States is the buyer of 30% of our non-conventional exports (without fuel), the provider of 30% of the country’s foreign direct investment, and, in a parallel case, the country of origin for 52% of the remittances. That Colombians are abroad.

Non-traditional exports to the United States have grown in these nine years as has foreign direct investment. New products have been found in the markets, especially agricultural and agro-industrial products, but more can still be done. It is imperative to understand the US consumer whose consumption resumes after the pandemic and the investment projects that will be on their way to strengthening and deepening the country’s exportable offer. Global value chains are changing with the spread of the epidemic and regional value chains gaining participation, and Colombian products must find space in this new order. The best of this bilateral relationship is yet to come.

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