The Colombia-Korea Free Trade Agreement was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives of Colombia this past December. This newest FTA must benefit domestic farmers, but could hit the auto parts and household appliances industries, particularly refrigerators and washers.
Colombia’s Minister of Commerce, Cecilia Álvarez-Correa, said this FTA is crucial to the nation’s farming and agro-industry sectors, because Korean imports in these sectors are hefty. Álvarez-Correa added that the FTA bodes well for coffee and its derivative products, as well as for flowers, bananas, fruit, vegetables, dairy, beef, pork, poultry, sugar, tobacco, cigarettes and ethanol. Agro-industrial segments in juice, cookies, candy and marmalade will also see a boost.
Industries poised to get hit by this particular FTA, such as vehicles, and large appliances, have 10- and 12-year relief programs coming their way, respectively, at the behest of industry employers, so that they can better tackle the competition set to bear down upon them. Before going into effect, the Free Trade Agreement between the two nations must, as a final step, be approved by the Colombian Supreme Court, which may take up to six months to issue its decision.