The Next Phase in American Free Trade: Colombia, Panama and South Korea

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Executive Summary

  • The US has finally ratified three free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, after several years of delay.
  • The agreements were originally signed under the Bush administration, but the Obama administration has delayed their ratification until now.
  • The delay has been damaging, particularly for relations with Colombia, the USA’s closest ally in South America. Colombia has sought alternative trading partners, particularly China.
  • The ratification is a move in the right direction for US trade policy in Latin America. The US should continue to argue for the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

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