U.S. Secretary of State Promises Panama, Colombia Free Trade Agreements

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News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. May 12, 2011: U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, yesterday insisted that the Panama, Colombia Free Trade Agreements will be sent to congress this year.

Clinton made the statement during remarks Wednesday at the 41st Washington Conference on the Americas. “One of our top goals is to complete free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama,” said the U.S. Secretary of State, noting that the US continued to work with both nations to address key concerns and forge broader bipartisan support in the Congress.

“Panama passed important new laws on labor rights and tax transparency. With Colombia, we have established an action plan to address concerns about labor rights, violence, and impunity,” she said. “And Colombia has already taken important steps to implement this plan, and we are working hard to execute the next phase by June 15. Thanks to President Santos’s extraordinary leadership, I have no doubt we will meet that deadline.”

Additionally, Clinton said the broader trade agenda, including renewal of the Andean Trade Preferences and the Trade Adjustment Assistance, will also be sent to congress.
She urged all to “continue to work toward what certainly can be a Latin American century of hope, potential, promise for all.”

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