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IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday April 16, 2012

MBRT Applauds Signing U.S. Colombia Free Trade Agreement

  • Bilateral Pact to Take Effect May 15
  • Provides Access to Colombia’s $180 billion Services Market
  • 80 Percent of U.S. Exports of Consumer & Industrial Products will be Duty-Free
  • U.S. Goods Exported to Colombia in 2011 were $14.3 billion

Washington, D.C. – A free trade agreement between the United States and Colombia is set to take effect next month, leaders of both countries said Sunday at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia.

The United States and Colombia agreed to the pact last year, but implementation was contingent on Colombia taking a series of steps to improve workers’ rights.

At a joint news conference in Cartagena with President Barack Obama, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos cheered the deal as a 20-year dream come true. “This will create thousands, millions of jobs in the United States and Colombia,” he said.

Under the deal, which will go into effect May 15, more than 80% of U.S. exports of consumer and industrial products to Colombia will become duty free, as will more than half of U.S. exports of agricultural commodities. Most Colombian goods are already sold duty free in the United States.

 “The U.S. – Colombia trade agreement will increase opportunities creating jobs for America’s small and minority businesses which are the primary exporters in foreign markets”, said Roger A. Campos, President & CEO.  “This will enhance business deals between the two countries and bring Latin America closer as a trading partner.”

About the Minority Business RoundTable:

The Minority Business RoundTable is the only national non-profit organization for CEOs of the nation's leading African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, Native-American and other minority-owned businesses. Its members analyze and help formulate effective public policies that impact minority-owned business.  Our corporate members work to create sustainable communities and national economic viability through successful partnerships.

The Minority Business RoundTable is proud to have Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Equifax, the Allegis Group and Aerotek, Inc., IMPAC Real Estate Holdings, the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of the country’s leading corporations, the Small Business Administration, Department of Homeland Security,  Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency and other federal agencies, corporations and business trade groups as strategic partners.  For more information on the Minority Business RoundTable, please visit www.mbrt.net.
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