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.